Peninsula Credit Union Employees 3D Print Personal Protective Equipment for Hospital Workers
April 21, 2020
While working from home, two employees at Peninsula Credit Union, based in Shelton, Washington, have put their skills to work by 3D printing protective gear for local medical professionals taking care of COVID-19 patients.
Peninsula’s IT Director, James McFarland, and Financial Advisor, Eric Greth, are 3D printing hobbyists who started working on the #HackThePandemic initiative in their garages and spare bedrooms. Using their personal 3D printers, they produce personal protective equipment (PPE), such as face shields, face masks, and elastic band holders, and they’re encouraging others to join in the effort.
“I started printing medical shields about mid-March, when I saw Prusa had designed a prototype,” Greth said. “My wife, Tamii, found the ‘Kitsap COVID-19 PPE Maker Team’ Facebook group, where they match up the needs with the makers. The choice was clear: I needed to start doing this.”
Face shields are devices healthcare professionals can use to minimize contact with any infected droplets as they treat COVID-19-positive patients. To date, McFarland and Greth have made over 100 face shields and other assorted PPE for hospital workers.
McFarland is happy to be putting his 3D printing skills to good use, he said.
“My wife and sister in-law are both in the medical field, fighting on the front lines, and anything I can do to help ensure their safety along with the safety of others, I’m going to do at the best of my ability.”
After the masks are printed, McFarland and Greth meet up to ensure the supplies end up in the hands of the professionals. Greth fondly recalls his first drop off in Silverdale, Washington.
“I sat in my car and watched about 20 to 30 other people drop off shields during the 10 minutes while I was there. The organizer had a full truckload by the time I left. Truly heartwarming to see the community come together and help the medical community.”
As the coronavirus continues to sweep the nation, overwhelming hospitals and putting thousands at risk, the hardworking duo say they have no plans to stop making masks any time soon.
“We have a long road ahead of us, and by working with the community and helping out our neighbors, together we make the world a better place for all of us,” McFarland said.
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