BROWNSVILLE – Inside the Pittsburgh Electrical Insulation company in Brownsville staff has been dedicating their own time to make protective shield masks for medical professionals in the battle against COVID-19.

Rafael Hernandez, Operations manager at PEI says this is a project his staff has been working on for the past two weeks.

“We retrofitted some of our machinery to make face shields for people at the front lines in the medical field working with COVID-19,” said Hernandez as he displayed masks on the table.

In the last two weeks, Hernandez says his staff has shipped between 600 to 2,700 masks and more to go.

They’ve sent masks to places in the valley like Brownsville and Harlingen and as far away as New York and California.

“They were reusing their equipment, cleaning it, sanitizing it and reusing it, ” he explained. ” These are basically disposable. You use it one shift and you can throw it away.”

Hernandez says these masks are made out of plastic that is used as the shield, foam, a rubber band and tape to hold it in place.

“More or less it takes us three to five minutes to make one,” Hernandez said.

“Our employees they stepped up and are doing it as quickly as possible. The heroes are those in the medical filed and we’re glad to help them,” said Hernandez.

Hernandez says his team is also working on making protective masks, similar to the N-95 to donate to those in the medical field.