With in-person classes closed, Elizabethtown Community and Technical College has put its resources to the test in helping local health care providers.
The college has been using its 3-D printers to produce face shields for health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mike Hazzard, dean of workforce solutions and technical programs, and Brent Doty, program coordinator for computer aided drafting and design, have been leading the project at the college.
“They say, ‘What is CADD?’ We say it’s problem solving. That’s what we do,” Doty said.
The school has four 3-D printers the two are using to print the frames of the face shields.
These shields consist of the frame, a transparent sheet, an elastic band and adhesive foam on each side of the frame so that it sits comfortably on the head.
With the four printers, they said they can produce two to three at a time with each frame taking about an hour to produce.
“If I get one an hour off of a machine, that’s pretty quick,” Hazzard said.
Along with this project, Doty is teaching eight online classes and Hazzard is continuing his dean duties throughout the school.
Last week, Hazzard was approached from the Kentucky Community and Technical College System’s Workforce Solutions department about the potential project.
He said several different health care providers across the state were looking to develop a cheap, quick face shield for health care workers.
They went through different designs to produce, but there is not one single approved design across the board in terms of 3-D printers.
Since then, Hazzard said they’ve reached out to health care providers in ECTC’s 10-county service area and asked if they wanted shields free of charge.
So far they have received responses from Hardin Memorial Hospital, Breckinridge Memorial Hospital, Encompass Health and Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center, which specifically asked for 50 shields.
Hazzard said the University of Kentucky Extension Service then will be assembling the shields and getting them to providers. On Wednesday, they said they had about 40 or so already printed that need to be assembled.
Doty said the transparent sheets were donated from several departments of the college.
“The response I received from the college about donated transparencies was phenomenal,” Doty said.
Doty and Hazzard said they’re hoping to produce as much as they can once the word gets out and more providers start reaching back out.
They also are looking for donated materials for their face shields. They need ¾ to one-inch elastic bands and ¾ inch foam with adhesive on one side.
Those looking to donate the materials can reach out to Megan Stith, dean of institutional advancement, at email@example.com.