Tige Boats begins PPE production for Big Country hospitals

Local News

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Zachery Johnson’s day at Tige Boats started out like any other.

At 6 a.m., the machines were turned on and his team was ready to get to work. Except on Friday he wouldn’t be getting boats ready for the water, but instead helping medical workers get ready for the front lines.

“It’s definitely a different pace than we are used to, but everybody’s handling it well,” said Assembly Line Supervisor at Tige Boats, Zachery Johnson.

Tige Boats is switching production over to making masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) for the time being as concerns rise over the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m here to make sure we get the plastic cut, get it cut down to the face shield size,” said Johnson.

The team started Friday, using supplies they already had in stock and machines they work on everyday.

“That machine is one that normally cuts out all the patterns for vinyl,” said Tige Boats President Daniel Gutierrez. “[Now we’re} repurposing that to roll out 250 straps for these face masks every 30 minutes.”

The team’s goal was to roll out 500 of these items by the end of the day, but Gutierrez says they finished that goal by lunchtime.

“The more we can do, the better off we will be,” said Gutierrez.

Tige Boats says they hope to continue this work through the end of April, saying it’s a small change that will help thousands.

“This community as a whole always steps up, and I think that us being a part of it and seeing how many people can contribute to this common good, it’s a pretty special place to be,” said Gutierrez.

Tige Boats had the foam and vinyl in its warehouse and was able to get the plastic from a local company who specializes in grocery store packaging.

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