Fort Worth N95 Mask Company Initially Discarded As Tarrant County Supplier – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth
FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – North Texas born John Bielamowicz and David Baillargeon spent almost the last year of their lives making American-made N95 masks.
Their company, United States Mask Co., does not use foreign products and is manufactured and manufactured in their own factory in Fort Worth.
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“We have recognized how dependent we are on foreign countries, especially China. The masks themselves, the raw material for the masks, we don’t make much of it in this country, ”said Bielamowicz, co-founder of United States Mask Co.
It took them almost nine months to develop the N95. With hopes and dreams, this would help provide Tarrant County with adequate PPE.
“It was like screaming into an abyss,” said Bielamowicz.
The problem was that, while federally approved, her mask was not one of the six brands, four of which were Chinese. Tarrant County accepted offers from.
“We were immediately disqualified because Tarrant County was looking for certain models that were made in China. We’re not made in Fort Worth, USA, ”said Bielamowicz.
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Bielamowicz and his partner spoke at the next meeting of the Tarrant County Commissioners in early January, where Judge Glen Whitley asked questions and openly supported small business owners.
Ultimately, Judge Whitley told CBS 11 News today that it came down to price and the specific criteria that made the United States Mask Co. beat it.
“All six met the specifications they were looking for. The next time Uniteds are tested too, they’ll be listed too, and I’ve been encouraging the public health to do so because I’d love to have local people there to give them a chance at the offer, “said Whitley.
The local owners are looking for business elsewhere and are seeing a bigger problem with government contracts.
“If you want this place to be there, you’d better go there. And I think if Americans want things like N95 here, we have to vote with our wallets, we have to ask our policymakers to do so, ”said Bielamowicz.
The company recently had success selling its N95 respirators in smaller quantities online to families in North Texas. They say they have more on their website and can order next week.
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