Ready for delivery, these masks were earmarked for the COVID-19 ICU in Surrey.

Fraser Valley auto sound business starts producing face shields

Certified Auto Sound & Security is doing what it can to help frontline healthcare workers.

If you’d asked Pat Lee two weeks ago if he’d ever be manufacturing plastic face masks, he would have thought you were crazy.

But things have changed a lot in the last 14 days.

The Chilliwack man who owns three Certified Auto Sound and Security locations is repurposing technology that normally produces car audio and security solutions, using it to manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline healthcare workers.

“At our Maple Ridge location we have machines that allow us to mass-produce the parts and pieces of a plastic face shield,” Lee explains. “We’re assembling those parts and pieces at our Maple Ridge, Abbotsford and Chilliwack stores so we can distribute them to the people who need them.

“Later today I’ll be dropping off 100 face shields and 200 of the clip pieces for behind the mask at the Abbotsford Hospital.

“Another 100 went to the Surrey COVID-19 ICU yesterday and we are just trying to get them everywhere we can.”

READ MORE: Canada looking to re-use disinfected masks

READ MORE: Are you a senior needing help in the COVID-19 crisis?

At a time when many businesses are doing all they can to just ride out the storm, Lee didn’t want to be sitting on the sideline.

“It comes down to doing the right thing for our community,” he says. “We have the equipment and the capability, so why not do this? People who’ve reached out to me tell me they’re pulling used disposable face shields out of the garbage, sanitizing them and re-using them because they have nothing.”

Lee has not been immune to making tough decisions, including laying off employees.

But he’s been pleasantly surprised to find people adopting that ‘all in this together’ mentality.

“Staff members that I had to lay off are coming back and volunteering their time to help us do this,” he says. “My parents are volunteering their time to put these masks together. It’s great to see how this crisis has brought out the best in most people.”

Some of Lee’s vendors have chipped in financially, donating money to help with the rising cost of materials. To date, Lee’s crew has produced approximately 600 masks, and as word has filtered out, requests have increased dramatically.

Materials are starting to become scarce.

Chilliwack’s Wellington Plastics is helping source 50 sheets of PETG, a clear thermoplastic that forms the shield part of the face shield.

“That’ll allow us to produce another 2,000,” Lee says.

As stressful as it is to find materials and put in the manual-labour hours to produce the masks, Lee wants more organizations to know this option exists.

If that means he has to figure out a way to keep producing more and more and more of them, he’ll find a way.

“We don’t care about the press for our business,” he says. “We just want the awareness to be out there so we can get as many as possible into the hands of people who need them. If anyone can help with the costs of materials so we can keep producing them, that’s the whole hope of ours because we just want to keep helping people.”

Connect with Lee online through the Certified Auto Sound Facebook page.


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langley Township prepares for high water

The Fraser River is cresting soon and levels are relatively high

Two more COVID-19 cases reported by Langley Lodge

One resident, one staffer have tested positive for the coronavirus

Car failing to yield at new stop sign causes three-car crash and flaming aftermath

A Monday afternoon multiple-car collision saw no serious injuries reported to police

Cost of COVID-19 ‘biggest unknown’ for Langley School District budget

District’s 2020/2021 annual budget bylaw sent to a third reading during board meeting

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Langley Advance Times to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

Suspect sought in alleged assault, hate crime on Metro Vancouver bus: transit police

The woman then allegedly punched the teenager in the head multiple times

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

B.C. Hockey League prepping for 2020-21

League reviewing different scenarios and start times in compliance with provincial regulations

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Abbotsford International Airshow opening 50-year-old time capsule

Bronze time capsule was put together to commemorate AIA as Canada’s National Airshow

Most Read