Provo, Utah (ABC4 News) The COVID-19 pandemic has created a national shortage of Personal Protective Equipment, also known as PPE.
The shortage is affecting those on the front-lines of the pandemic. This includes law enforcement and fire officials. The Provo Police Department recognizes the need to keep officers and first responders protected in the event an officer comes in contact with someone who may be infected with the coronavirus.
Provo Police department put the call out to anyone with the ability to print and donate 3D masks to drop them off at their police station on Monday between the hours of 9:00 a.m and 5:00 p.m.
Sgt. Nisha King of the Provo Police department tells ABC4 News “One N-95 mask can be cut into 5 filters that can be switched out five times with the 3D mask. Essentially, one mask can now be used five different times.”
Video courtesy: Facebook/Provo Police Department
King says the need for masks spreads throughout Utah County. Although, Monday was the designated day for the drop-offs. The donations began coming in over the weekend and by Monday at 11 a.m Provo Police had already received an additional 200 masks.
Fortem Technologies, a leading provider of airspace defense and security drone security in Pleasant Grove is among the many businesses that made donations. Eric Fowkes, Lead Drone Architect tells ABC4 “one of the things we try to do at Fortem Technologies is give back to the community.” Fowkes says their company delivered 100 masks to the Provo Police Department, 50 of which are the N-95 face masks and 50 being the 3-D masks. The 3-D printers their company has can produce about 20 masks at a time which takes between 8-10 hours. Fowkes says Fortem Technologies plans to continue printing and delivering as many masks as they can until the need is met.
Sgt. Nisha King of Provo Police department said “We are astounded with the amount of support from our community. In the midst of a crisis, our community has come together and become stronger through giving and taking care of each other.”
King also says the police department will continue to accept donations, past Monday at 5:00 p.m. Ultimately the donations will be distributed between the Provo Police, Provo fire department and Utah County’s Sheriff’s office. Any additional materials will get donated to other Utah County agencies.
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