FORT SMITH, Ark. — A Fort Smith outdoor company is working to make much-needed medical equipment to sent to facilities across Arkansas and Oklahoma.
Pradco Outdoor Brands in Fort Smith usually manufactures fishing lures but after seeing a need from local hospitals, the team was challenged to make medical supplies.
"What we designed at Pradco is the frame, and what this does is the doctor or nurse can use this frame and attach this face shield which is a very sanitary way to deal with patients," said Bruce Stanton, VP of Pradco.
The company will be making deliveries to Mercy Hospital and Baptist Health in Fort Smith. The facilities will be receiving face shields, mask frames and hand sanitizer.
The company expects to make about 7,000 bottles of 4-ounce hand sanitizer to send to hospitals and nursing homes before running out of supplies.
Officials with the company say they have packaged around 4,500 bottles today.
They say materials for the face shields are inexpensive and they have the capability to produce one mask frame every minute. They have the potential to create and deliver thousands of masks.
Pradco making medical supplies
Pradco leaders say their regular sales are still able to keep them in business, so doing this for the community is a no-brainer.
"We've been part of the Fort Smith community for a long time, and we have a big stake here. We have a lot of folks who are family and we're reaching out and trying to help," said Danny Stoner, Pradco Special Projects Manager.
The company says it will continue to make sanitizer until supplies run out but will continue to make face masks while there is still a need.