Arcade Belts donates hundreds of masks to area’s health care workers
In the past 10 years, local company Arcade Belts has grown into a brand that has become an essential part of the uniform for many extreme sports athletes and outdoor adventurers.
With supplies of personal protective equipment in the medical field at a shortage, the company has leveraged its connections in the manufacturing world to bring hundreds of N95 respirators and surgical masks to health care workers around the Tahoe area.
“Essentially, we just had a channel and a connection to source some of it,” said owner and professional skier Cody Townsend, who added that the importance of getting health care workers personal protective equipment was driven home after seeing friends in the medical field putting masks in Ziploc baggies to bring home.
“We’ve been purchasing (personal protective equipment) and trying to get it sent over,” he said.
Since making a connection with a manufacturer, Arcade Belts has been able to purchase and donate more than 300 masks, which have gone out to health care workers like those at the Tahoe Forest Heath System.
Last Monday, California health officials sent a letter to health care facilities urging extended use and reuse of personal protective equipment due to shortages.
“Health care facilities continue to report severe shortages of PPE, including respirators, face masks, gowns, and face shields,” officials said in a statement.
Arcade Belts is currently working on getting more personal protective equipment shipped to the area, according to Townsend.
“We’re doing all we can to try and get stuff over here,” he said. “We’re going to try to keep it rolling as much as we can.”
As far as getting involved and donating masks, Townsend said it was his and Arcade Belts’ ties to the community that made for an easy decision to help out when the opportunity arose.
“We have 13 local employees. We started here and have been here for 10 years,” he said. “We know the support of the community has essentially helped us grow, and if you see a need, and you have an ability to help, why don’t you step up to the plate? We just wanted to help out where we could.”
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-550-2643.
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