StoneAge Finds PPE for Area Hospitals

04/19/2020

Local manufacturer StoneAge Tools ships its high-pressure water tools around the world. So it used its connections in China to negotiate shipments of scarce PPE to the Four Corners area.

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WHEN IT COMES TO CUTTING THROUGH INTERNATIONAL RED TAPE, KERRY SIGGINS IS A PAIR OF RAZOR-SHARP SCISSORS. YOU'RE WATCHING THE LOCAL NEWS NETWORK, BROUGHT TO YOU BY KROEGERS ACE HARDWARE IN DURANGO AND ACE CHOICE BUILDING SUPPLY IN CORTEZ. I'M WENDY GRAHAM SETTLE. KERRY SIGGINS IS THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF STONE AGE TOOLS, A DURANGO-BASED MANUFACTURER OF HIGH-POWERED WATER-JET TOOLS THAT SHIPS ITS PATENTED CLEANING PRODUCTS TO GOVERNMENTS AND INDUSTRIAL USERS ALL OVER THE WORLD. THE COMPANY RECENTLY USED ITS INTERNATIONAL CONNECTIONS TO PROCURE TWENTY THOUSAND FACE MASKS, 450 MEDICAL SUITS AND THOUSANDS OF FACE SHIELDS FROM CHINA. STONE AGE GAVE THE MEDICAL EQUIPMENT TO SAN JUAN BASIN PUBLIC HEALTH THIS WEEK TO DISTRIBUTE TO FOUR CORNERS AREA HOSPITALS, AND IT PLANS TO PROCURE MORE. WHEN THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC BEGAN TO SPREAD IN THE UNITES STATES, STONE AGE DISTRIBUTORS IN CHINA CONTACTED SIGGINS AND OFFERED TO FIND PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT FOR HER COMPANY. STONE AGE TOOLS IS CONSIDERED AN ESSENTIAL BUSINESS BECAUSE IT MAKES CLEANING TOOLS USED IN MANUFACTURING AND WATER AND SEWER UTILITY MAINTENANCE, AMONG OTHER APPLICATIONS. STONE AGE OFFICIALS PURCHASED ABOUT A THOUSAND FACE MASKS FOR ITS EMPLOYEES AS PART OF ITS OWN SOCIAL-DISTANCING PROGRAM, AND SIGGINS DONATED WHAT THE COMPANY DIDN'T NEED TO MERCY MEDICAL CENTER, WHERE MEDICAL STAFF WERE THRILLED TO HAVE THE EXTRA EQUIPMENT.
THAT'S WHEN I STARTED TO LEARN HOW DIRE THE SITUATION WAS, NOT BECAUSE WE HAVE SO MANY COVID VIRUS CASES HERE RIGHT NOW, ALTHOUGH WE DO HAVE THEM, IT'S MOSTLY THAT THEIR SUPPLY CHAIN HAS BEEN CUT OFF. SO EVEN IF THEY'RE JUST DOING GENERAL, GENERAL PROCEDURES, THEY HAVE TO STILL JUST CONSERVE THEIR MASKS AND CONSERVE THEIR GOWNS AND THINGS LIKE THAT. SO THAT PUTS YOU AT RISK TOO. SO THAT'S WHEN I SAID, ALL RIGHT, LET'S SEE WHAT WE CAN DO, SEE WHAT WE CAN BRING IN. AND I STARTED WORKING WITH MY TEAM THERE,  AND THEY ARE NOT INVOLVED IN THE MEDICAL INDUSTRY AT ALL. YOU KNOW, WE'RE ALL IN INDUSTRIAL CLEANING SO, THEY HAVE BEEN ABLE TO, UNBELIEVABLY FAST, WHICH IS HOW THE CHINESE WORK, BE ABLE TO FIND LARGE AMOUNTS OF PPE THAT I CAN GET HERE IF I'M ASKED TO DO SO. STONE AGE'S NORTH ASIA SALES DIRECTOR IN CHINA CONNECTED SIGGINS WITH P P E MANUFACTURERS TO PURCHASE THE N-95 FACE MASKS, PROTECTIVE MEDICAL SUITS, AND FACE SHIELDS. VOLUNTEERS WITH THE MAKER'S LAB IN DURANGO ALSO HELPED PRODUCE FACE SHIELDS AS PART OF THE EFFORT. SIGGINS SAID THE MEDICAL EQUIPMENT IS VALUED AT ABOUT SEVENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS.  STONE AGE TOOLS CONTRIBUTED TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS TO THE PROJECT AND THE COMMUNITY SO FAR HAS DONATED NEARLY TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS IN MATCHING FUNDS ON SIGGINS' GO-FUND-ME SITE. IN THE PROCESS, THE PROJECT HAS CUT THROUGH SPOOLS AND SPOOLS OF INTERNATIONAL, NATIONAL AND STATE-LEVEL RED TAPE TO PROCURE MEDICAL SUPPLIES THAT OTHERWISE MIGHT NOT BE AVAILABLE TO REGIONAL MEDICAL PROVIDERS IN THE FOUR CORNERS.
AS IT STARTS TO GO FROM, YOU KNOW, FEDERAL TO STATE, TO LOCAL COMMUNITY. AND YOU KNOW, AS THAT DRIP-EFFECT HAPPENS, IT MEANS THAT PLACES LIKE THE FOUR CORNERS MIGHT NOT GET WHAT THEY NEED BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE THE POPULATION THAT, SAY, DENVER HAS. SO, YOU KNOW, TRYING TO, FOR PEOPLE HERE, TO TRY TO FIGURE OUT LIKE, HOW DO I NAVIGATE THIS SYSTEM, IT'S JUST IMPOSSIBLE. AND SO YOU EITHER HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE STATE TO GIVE YOU WHAT YOU NEED OR YOU NEED TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO START NEGOTIATING YOUR OWN SUPPLY. AND THAT'S REALLY A DIFFICULT THING TO DO.IF YOU'D LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE REGIONAL MEDICAL-SUPPLY DRIVE, VISIT GO FUND ME DOT COM AND SEARCH FOR P P E FOR FOUR CORNERS HOSPITALS. FUNDS LEFTOVER FROM THE DRIVE WILL BE DONATED TO AREA FOOD BANKS. THANKS FOR WATCHING THIS EDITION OF THE LOCAL NEWS NETWORK. I'M WENDY GRAHAM SETTLE.

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