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When Covid hit, Aiken already had a large PPE supply

When the Covid-19 crisis erupted nearly two years ago, most of us scrambled to find the approved types of face masks designed to keep the deadly virus out of our mouths, noses and critically, our lungs.

I remember wondering in February of 2020, “Where am I going to get the effective anti-virus masks I need for myself and my family?” I had never seen any of them in a store.

As it turned out, Aiken already had a wholesale and retail source for a myriad number of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and just about any other type of safety equipment you might want at Eagle Corps Services in the Citizens Park Office & Conference Center just across Old Airport Road at the City’s award-winning public baseball parks.

Eight years ago, Richard and Mary Allen founded Citizens Park Office & Conference Center to supply the Aiken market with customized meeting spaces and short-term professional offices and Eagle Corps Services to distribute safety products. The multiple business and safety services companies did well from the start until Richard became ill. He passed away two years ago, and the business naturally tailed off for a couple of years.

But now Mary has come back strong and both businesses are thriving.

Richard Allen – A legacy of service and safety

Richard Allen, receiving the SC Veteran Small Businessperson of the Year Award.

Before his passing Richard was awarded the South Carolina Veteran Small Businessperson of the Year Award for his devotion to keeping veterans and the public safe and healthy, primarily through Eagle Corps Services. After becoming 100 percent disabled in the U.S. Air Force, Richard followed a long career in safety preparation at the Savannah River Site, hence his founding of Eagle Corps Services.

Eagle Corps’ primary business is distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), now crucial for fighting Covid-19, but in 2018 the company was concentrating on all manner of other safety equipment from fire helmets to several types of safety glasses that they still supply to businesses and families around our area. Even Eagle Corps’ entry level safety glasses come with designed-in anti-fog and scratch resistant surfaces, polycarbonate impact resistant lenses that absorb 99 percent of UV rays, and ready to use built-in retractable ear plugs that provide NRR 25 noise protection, just to point out a few. The PPE section includes many versions of face masks, safety gloves, surgical gowns, medical clothing, boot covers and even coveralls with a built-in respirator.

Richard became an inspirational safety champion, even to the point of extolling the benefits of picnics, which are promoted in France to keep small meals simple and fresh and safe. Anybody who grew up with someone from SRP/SRS knows about an everyday, everything-you-do emphasis on safety. That was Richard and that continues to be ingrained in thousands of SRS families in our area.

Eagle Corps Services has far too many safety products to list here but their catalog is on-line on their website at www.eaglecorpsservices.com.

The Center’s services are on display at www.citizensparkocc.com/ and Mary can be reached at (803) 226.0504. The number at Eagle Corps Services is (803) 567-2299.

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