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Duo Form donates face shields to Edwardsburg Fire Department

EDWARDSBURG — One company formed a new community bond by donating personal protection equipment to area first responders.

Edwardsburg company Duo Form recently donated 50 face shields to the Edwardsburg Fire Department to serve as PPE equipment during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We like to help people out in our neighborhood,” Said Jessica Papke, marketing manager for Duo Form. “This is something we have been doing since the beginning of the pandemic.”

Duo Form, a thermoplastics company best known for manufacturing RV parts, began producing face shields in March at the pandemic’s onset. According to the company’s leadership, the shift was made to serve the community during a difficult time. In addition to making face shields, the company announced in June it partnered with Tunnel to Towers, a New York-based organization, to raise funds for frontline pandemic workers.

“We have a strong commitment to our employees, customers, service partners and communities during the ongoing coronavirus situation. Ensuring their safety continues to be our number one commitment,” said Shelly Ditmer, vice president of sales, in March. “As this health crisis has evolved, we are working day and night to determine how best to use our company’s resources to provide support in relief efforts that could positively impact our local Michiana communities.”

Since then, Papke estimates the company has made hundreds — if not thousands — of donations to hospitals, first responders and more. So, when the Edwardsburg Fire Department reached out seeking assistance, the company knew it needed to step up and continue to help its neighbors — especially neighbors providing a vital service to the community.

“[First responders] are working hard to keep us safe,” Papke said. “We just try to do what we can to help. We want to keep all of our helpers safe.”

Edwardsburg Fire Chief Bruce Stack said he was grateful for the donation of face shields from Duo Form and for the support his department has received from local businesses and community members throughout COVID-19.

“It makes you feel good,” he said. “I just really want to say thank you. This is one of those good things happening in the community.”

As of Wednesday, Stack said the face shields had yet to be used, but he knew they would prove useful to the department as they continue to respond to calls throughout the ongoing pandemic.

“This is all about making sure we have proper PPE,” he said. “[The shields] are stocked up in our trucks, ready for whenever we need them.”

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