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ARVADA, Colo. — As COVID-19 cases continue to climb, health care workers are faced with a shortage of personal protective equipment, but our first responders are also worried about running out of gear.

A Colorado native is now creating protective masks for firefighters.

“These are the shields that we use,” Matt Hartley said, founder of Matt Hartley Lighting, LLC.

Hartley spent the last two decades specializing in lighting design, but now he’s using his talent and 3D printers for something completely different.

“As many people as I can, I want to try and help out,” Hartley said.

Hartley has flipped his operation to manufacture plastic medical masks that can be cleaned and reused.

“These are kits that we’ve put together and sealed them with instructions,” Hartley said.

Hartley has our first responders in mind. In addition to medical staff, he plans to drop off a donation of medical masks and shields for the Arvada Fire Department.

“When you call 911, we’re going to show up,” Lieutenant Travis Fox of the Arvada Fire Department said.

It’s a job that does not stop despite the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We have to treat everyone we run into as if they’re a possible COVID-19 patient. So, we’re in full Tyvek suits, masks, gloves, glasses,” Fox said.

Fox said Hartley is fulfilling a real need and at the same time helping to keep the community safe.

“At the end of the day, the community that supports us, that means more than they’ll ever know.”