In early 2020, it became apparent that the world was facing an unprecedented pandemic brought on by COVID-19. Juneau, Alaska, is a small town only accessible by boat or plane. Residents became concerned that their supply chain would be limited, especially with access to much needed personal protective equipment (PPE). Hal Daugherty, a local businessman realized that he could do something to help, so he turned his canvas business into a PPE manufacturing facility.
Meanwhile, Kaia Rongstad of the local Audiology practice knew that their team needed some PPE that would help them communicate with their patients. She researched a variety of masks with clear windows over the mouths but everything she could find was not available. Luckily, Hal spoke via video to Kaia’s Rotary club (Glacier Valley Rotary Club) about manufacturing PPE for local healthcare providers a short time later. Kaia reached out to Hal, and she told him about the importance of being able to see facial expressions, lips movement and other non-verbal cues. Hal, a disabled veteran who suffers from hearing loss, could sympathize and it got him thinking about how he could help make a difference for people struggling to communicate with masks on. His creative wheels started turning and with Kaia’s input he came up with the ultimate reusable and washable PPE wear that combined the respiratory droplet control of a mask with the effectiveness of a face shield, the Humanity Shield™! From teachers to speech pathologists as well as many other professions, it has the power to strengthen relationships around the world by bringing the human connection back to communication.
The Humanity Shield™ is a unique patent pending design and technology owned by Rapid Response PPE, LLC in Juneau, Alaska, USA.
Juneau, often referred to as the most scenic capital city in the United States, is the most visited city in Alaska, usually hosting almost 2 million cruise ship passengers each summer. COVID-19 quickly shut down many businesses and it was clear that our tourism industry would not be the same going forward. Our town of a little over 30,000 residents depends on the income that is generated from tourism over the summer months to support us through the winter. With the tourism industry coming to a halt, many Juneauites have been left without income to support their families. Rapid Response PPE is committed to keeping Alaskans employed and is hiring local workers who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic.
The materials that are used in the manufacturing of the Humanity Shield™ are sourced within the United States; with the intention of regenerating our economy and ensuring jobs for Americans around the country.