SPOKANE, Wash. - Companies that don't typically specialize in personal protective equipment are stepping up in a big way.

GoToTags, a software company based in Spokane, is doing just that. CEO  Craig Tadlock says the idea came to him earlier during the pandemic "I was chatting with my mom about what we can do to help, and I had one of those self-realization moments that hey maybe we can help. Maybe we can play a part in this to help the local community," said CEO Craig Tadlock.

GoToTags has a factory in China where his RFID software is made. He asked them if they could make masks. They said yes!

So now, a software company is temporarily providing essential medical supplies to government emergency response teams, medical facilities, and other vital community services right here in Spokane "That's expanded to Oregon, Yakima, and other states on the West and now the midwest."

So far, they've ordered 500,000 masks and have already started to receive their shipments, and Craig says logistically they are flying them in and not having them sent over by boat, which is costing them a little extra cash "We doubled down. We put all of our available capital into this. We put in a big huge factory order, and we brought that over to the states. There's a lot of problems to resolve it with shipping and logistics and customs, and you know quality is a big issue. We need to make sure these aren't fraudulent products. All of our masks are FDA certified," added Tadlock.

Craig brings up a good point when it comes to fraudulent masks or other PPE coming from China "We trusted them as people. As people that would deliver what they said they said they could do and then when we got them. We did our usual thing, which is to break them right. we tear them apart; we look at them, we fit them on."

GoToTags, an example of companies, regardless of their background, are stepping up, "Whatever we can do right now to help. I mean, this isn't our core business, but there's this definite need that we can fill and play a part in and help people out. I mean, like I said, it's that weird moment when you realize that you might be the one to help. I mean, it's nothing compared to what the front line workers are doing, but I think everyone is trying to find a way they can do something here," Tadlock said.

KHQ spoke with Senator Patty Murray this week. Senator Murray said that a shortage of personal protective equipment is going to be "the big issue moving forward." GoToTags Hopefully, helping ease some of those concerns.