A Salina exterminator is changing the focus of his business from protecting against things like bed bugs to instead protecting against COVID-19.
Brian Metzger, owner of GP Home Defense, says his operations have all but shut down. He realized he was in a position to do something about the current situation, specifically, the lack of personal protective equipment, or PPE. Metzger writes “our healthcare workers are on the front lines of this battle, putting themselves, and oftentnimes their family members at risk. We have always known that the military, police and firefighters put their lives on the line daily to protect our well being, and now those workers in healthcare stand with them as our biggest heroes displaying their grit and dedication.”
Metzger has established a not-for-profit organization, the Gopherwood Community Foundation, and has switched his company’s focus to manufacturing PPE masks.
GP Home Defense has been sourcing and supplying all needed materials, and has an ever growing network of seamsters and seamstresses working hard to produce the masks.
The masks produced locally have a cotton outer layer. The next layer in consists of a fabric that is so tightly woven as to make it water resistant. Then there is a pocket to hold replaceable filter material, and finally, a comfortable stretch knit fabric next to the face. The tightly woven water resistant material and soft stretch knit material comes from new, premium bed bug resistant mattress encasements that are being cut up. These encasements were designed to block not only bed bugs, but dust mites, pollen, mold spores, and countless other allergens.
Already hundreds of masks have went to those who otherwise would be unprotected. Many have been sent to healthcare workers, pest control operators, and employees and the residents of assisted living facilities.
Metzger has been funding everything himself, and is running out of money for the effort.
Bed bug proof mattress encasement producer Mattress Safe Inc. in cooperation with P.E.S.T. Relief International, an industry non-profit organization for professionals in the pest management industry, is helping to spread the word. They are reaching out to the pest management industry to contribute to the massive need for masks for those who are vulnerable and working on the front-lines.
According to P.E.S.T. Relief, they have recently joined forces with GP Home Defense in Salina for the distribution of masks to expand their reach. GP Home Defense has been actively seeking collaboration with industry suppliers and donors to produce masks, and has established the not-for-profit organization Gopherwood Community Foundation. Together, they are joining forces for maximum impact.
Volunteers will contribute to provide double layer stretch-knit masks with a spun bond polypropylene filter layer that are washable and reusable. These masks can be used alone or as a protective cover to extend the life of the N-95 mask.
They ask to please consider donating to this cause and help them help others.
Donations can be made via Paypal.me/GopherwoodCF. Checks can be mailed to Gopherwood Community Foundation, 676 S 9th St, Salina, Ks 67401.