Chicago IAM Local 701 Members Produce Face Shields for COVID-19 First Responders

Members of Chicago IAM Local 701 who save lives everyday by producing police, fire and tornado sirens around the world, are taking their essential jobs one step further to aid in the COVID-19 crisis. The tool and die makers at Federal Signal in University Park, IL have so far produced more than 10k face shields for first responders, the City of Chicago, and others across the globe.

The clear plastic personal protective equipment, already in use by many health care personnel on the front lines, has proven to be an effective deterrent to the coronavirus, say health experts.

“The project started in Federal Signal’s Engineering Department, who then enlisted the help of our talented and skillful IAM tool and die makers,” said IAM Local 701 Directing Business Representative Sam Cicinelli. “In four days, our members at Federal Signal were able to create a full injection mold and assembly fixtures that would allow the face shields to be produced quickly and safely by production staff.”

“We couldn’t be more proud,” said Cicinelli.

Federal Signal was able to produce more than 10,000 face shields in less than three weeks. They have been distributed to first responders the company has a working relationship with around the world, as well as Federal Signal sister divisions.

The plan is to continue producing the face shields as long as there’s a need, says the company. The company is also considering adding the face shields to its official line of safety products.

“Congratulations to the tool and die makers of IAM Local 701 at Federal Signal on a job well done,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “Their high skills and quick thinking are yet another example of how Machinist members across North America have answered the call for help in this crisis. Our union will be forever grateful for their hard work and dedication. Our country will be forever grateful for their hard work and dedication, as well.”


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