CYNTHIANA, Ky. (WDKY) – If there is one thing the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us as a nation, it’s that there is a critical shortage of what is called personal protective equipment-things like masks, gowns and respirators.
It’s what Governor Andy Beshear has said is desperately needed to keep medical personnel protected from the virus.
In central Kentucky, there is a company playing a vital role in the production of some of those items and doing its part to help in the fight against COVID-19 and its spread.
Known for its hard hats, Bullard in small-town Cynthiana is a global powerhouse when it comes to keeping workers safe on the job.
“So Bullard manufactures safety equipment, hard hats, fire helmets, thermal imaging cameras and also respiratory protection, and that’s what you are hearing a lot more about,” said Wells Bullard, CEO.
PPE has become standard talk when talking about this pandemic, its personal protective equipment, and it includes masks, gloves, gowns, and that respiratory protection made by Bullard.
“The most popular things that people are looking for is the powered air-purifying respirator, which is a mobile solution to deliver the wearer clean air,” said Bullard.
Talking over Skype, Wells Bullard, company CEO, told me her plant is working around the clock to produce the highly sought after equipment, including face shields for healthcare workers.
“We’ve been ramping up capacity tremendously. We are manufacturing more than five times more than we were previous to this pandemic and still trying to increase the capacity every day,” said Bullard.
Why the need?
Governor Andy Beshear says the types of PPE like what’s made at Bullard are vital to keeping workers on the frontlines safe.
The equipment is what he says would help us ramp up things like drive-thru testing in the state.
The importance of producing this type of equipment is not lost on the facility in Cynthiana.
“So job number one for us at Bullard is to keep our employees healthy and safe so that they can keep coming to work to protect workers who are responding on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Bullard.
Based in the county where the state’s first coronavirus patient was detected, it is even more reason for this company to now step us and answer a call nationwide.
“We have really tough employees who are really committed to what we do, and they understand what we do matters, and so they are all trying to do their part to stay as safe as possible, keep their families safe and healthy and also still be able to come and produce this lifesaving equipment,” said Bullard.
Bullard’s grandfather first invented a type of respirator back in 1932 to help protect workers building the Golden Gate Bridge from abrasive blasting.