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Former Parachute resident produces face shields for Western Slope hospitals

Joe Loschke, who grew up in Parachute, puts together a face shield at his car audio business in Boulder last week. Loschke and his friends are spending their spare time manufacturing face shields that they are donating to hospitals on the Western Slope.

After watching fellow car audio professionals jump in and help people in the health care field, Joe Loschke, who grew up in Parachute, is spending as much time as he can each day producing face shields for hospitals on the Western Slope and across Colorado.

“I was kind of inspired — there was a group of guys from the car audio industry that said we have the tooling and the experience with these materials to mass produce these shields,” Loschke said.

He ran across the idea on Facebook, where others in the business were sharing the plans and details of how to manufacture PPE products.

“I looked at them, and started pricing out material, and reached out to a friend at Valley View Hospital in Glenwood to see if they could use them and if it would be helpful,” Loschke said.

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With the help from a few friends who are also from the area and have settled in the Front Range, Loschke has been creating face shields to help with local hospitals who have a shortage of personal protective equipment.

The materials used to make the face shields are similar to the ABS and clear plastic Loschke and his crew are just used to working with thicker material.

“I just shipped out the first batch. Hopefully we can keep this going until the supply chain catches up,” Loschke said. “We are pretty small scale.”

Loschke and his friends have around 50 face shields in process, and hope to have 80-100 by the end of this week.

At some point a major manufacturer is going to produce millions of them, Loschke believes, and there won’t be as much of a need at that point.

He said because he grew up and still has many friends on the Western Slope he is focusing on hospitals from Glenwood to Grand Junction.

Loschke has found some hospitals are in dire need for the equipment, and some already have a supply.

He is donating the face shields to hospitals, but Loschke recently started a Go Fund Me page, gofundme.com/f/material-cost-for-face-shield-production, to help with the expense of buying materials, and wear and tear of machines.

“The materials are relatively inexpensive. It’s the tooling that’s required to be able to execute it is a bit more of an investment,” Loschke said.

Loschke and his friends are trying to spend at least a few hours a day manufacturing as many of these as they can.

“We’re just happy to help in any way we can,” Loschke said.

kmills@postindependent.com


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