ROME, Ga. - Heritage Sleep Concepts, a mattress production company in Rome, is now producing masks for staff at Floyd Medical Center.
Frankie Beck, owner of the company, said it's a change he never saw coming, but it's an opportunity that could not have come at a better time.
Beck said he had to lay off 14 employees due to a decline in business from the coronavirus.
"You never want to have to cut jobs.When we had to sit down and take a look at that the Friday before last, it was heartbreaking. Most of them have been with me 15 years. And here we are, we're having to tell them, 'Hey, we don't have things for you to do right now,'" Beck said.
Thanks to the partnership with the hospital, Beck has been able to bring those employees back.
The company will be able to use existing equipment to crank out 24 masks in just about 20 minutes.
After a little bit of work by hand, they'll be on their way to help hospital staff.
"The current stock that we have of personal protective equipment is good, it's healthy. We also understand we do not know how long the Coronavirus will be with us. We hope it will dissipate soon but we are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best," said David Early, vice president of support services and operations with the Floyd Medical Center.
Early said it's a mutually beneficial partnership that'll help the hospital prepare for the unknown and also help out those in the community.
Beck said he's thankful he's able to keep his staff employed but also grateful to be able to do his part to help out the community and a hospital that means so much to his family.
"Floyd medical center was where I was born, it's where my wife was born. Both my children were born there. So anything we can do to help our community, we're all about it," Beck said.
Production of the masks will begin on Monday.