Hot Springs company switches gears to help with PPE shortage nationwide

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HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Personal protective equipment is in short supply across the country. Hospitals and first responders are struggling to get face masks, shields and other equipment. One Hot Springs company is switching gears to be part of the solution.

Typically in the production line at Alliance Rubber Company, there would be rubber bands and more rubber bands. Right now, however, is not a typical time in our nation.

“We’re kind of pivoting and changing the way we’re doing some of our manufacturing,” Alliance Rubber Company Creative Director Misty Smith said.

With the shortage of PPE across the country, Alliance is expanding their production to rubber strips.

“Those strips are being used for the sections that go around the ear or in some cases with a plastic face shield it would be the strap that goes around and connects around the back of the head,” Smith said.

As more and more people are hospitalized due to COVID-19, the demand for this product continues to rise.

“If it is medically essential then it’s going right to the front of the line,” Smith said.

In just the last week, Alliance has helped put face masks and shields in the hands of those on the front lines against COVID-19 across the U.S.

“I’ve seen healthcare workers in Michigan who’ve received some of them. I’ve seen the NYPD unboxing them,” Smith said.

While there is no timeline on when this shortage will end, Alliance says they will continue using their resources to help bring a solution.

“It’s just a perfect fit at this time that we’re able to get it out to people that need it very quickly,” Smith said.

Smith says the demand for their rubber bands have also gone up with more people making their own face mask at home. She says the equipment for medical professionals does get first priority.

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