Calhoun, Ga.—When Mohawk data management specialist Alicia Kilgore heard the company was producing face shields and medical gowns for local health care providers, it sparked an idea.
“I was thinking about one of my family members in law enforcement and how when these officers go out on calls, they don’t know if that person is sick or if they’ve been exposed to the virus–they just get dispatched to the call,” she said. “A lot of the police and fire departments are providing things like gloves, hand sanitizer and masks when they’re available, but I thought if we could donate face shields, it would give them added protection.”
Her idea was met with enthusiasm by the Mohawk Home team, and to date the company has donated face shields to the Gordon County Sheriff’s Department, Calhoun Police Department, Adairsville Police Department, Whitfield County Sheriff’s Department, Dalton Police Department and Catoosa County Fire Department.
“When we started producing the gowns and face shields earlier this month, we were responding to the need shared by our local hospitals,” said Nikki Robinson, Mohawk Home senior director of human resources. “We quickly realized that the need reached beyond healthcare, and we had an opportunity to support our local first responders, as well. Anytime an officer stands close enough to a vehicle to see and speak to a driver or a firefighter responds to a call, they are going to be closer than six feet to another person. We feel honored that we can provide these items for many of our local first responders while they continue protecting and serving our communities during this ongoing health crisis.”
In addition to producing medical gowns at Mohawk Home’s Antioch Road facility in Dalton, the company is now producing both medical gowns and face shields at its location on Marine Drive in Calhoun. Franco Sanchez-Camarillo, one Mohawk’s process engineers, reverse engineered the easily assembled face shield that utilizes elastic from the company’s existing bathmat production line. Once other components were sourced, the team quickly learned the assembly process and began producing the shields in mass quantities.
“The requests for these items have come in rapidly, so we looked at how we could expand our operations,” said Bart Hill, Mohawk Home senior vice president, product development and operations. “We’re currently working up to producing 5,000 gowns a day and 10,000 face shields a day. It’s our intention to continue donating items regularly and providing the remainder of them to healthcare organizations at cost. This isn’t a long-term operation for Mohawk, but we have a heart for our communities and are committed to helping while this need is so great.”
In total, Mohawk has donated approximately 1,500 gowns and 1,000 face shields to first responders and healthcare organizations including Hamilton Healthcare System, AdventHealth Gordon and Emory University Hospital.