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How Lewis County manufacturer shifted gears to make PPE

Updated: Mar. 31, 2021 at 4:15 PM EDT
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LYONS FALLS, N.Y. (WWNY) - A Lewis County gun-cleaning kit maker is right on target, helping the community defend itself against COVID-19.

It’s quiet outside the walls of Otis Technology in Lyons Falls, but it’s a different story on the factory floor.

Part of the team spent Wednesday packing up personal protective equipment, or PPE.

It’s a job workers have grown used to this last year.

“Sometimes we are really pumping them out like we are right now. It really comes and goes in waves,” said Sean Fox, employee.

The company is back to making its staple: gun cleaning supplies. But at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Otis focused only on producing protective gear.

“There were a lot of requests coming in. A lot of need. You know, a lot of departments and agencies and hospitals didn’t have the adequate supplies that they needed,” Heather Pleskach, director of marketing.

And even though Pleskach didn’t see the pandemic coming, she said, “It doesn’t come as a shock to me that our ownership would be able to figure out how to go from gun cleaning to hand sanitizers and face shields and things like that.”

A lot of the PPE being produced will be going to Lewis County Emergency Management - just one instance of Otis Technology giving back to the community.

“Last week we made our second donation to the Police Benevolent Association. And this donation last week then went to a lot of the different vaccine sites,” said Pleskach.

Some of that donation made its way to St. Lawrence County.

It appears Otis Technology has found a rhythm, pushing out PPE.

Pleskach says the plan is to keep production going as long as there’s need.

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