MIDDLETOWN – The Middletown Township Public Library and the Middletown Township Public School District have been working together to make reusable personal protective equipment (PPE) face shields for individuals who are working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Face shields have already been delivered to township emergency services personnel and employees who deal with the public directly. Volunteers have been making more PPE for local medical professionals and first responders, according to a press release from the municipality.
The collaborative effort began when a library patron reached out to see if her sister, who is a nurse, could use face shields that were made by 3D printers, knowing the library has one. Included in her note were links to directions on how to make a face shield on a 3D printer, according to the press release.
Library Director Heather Andolsen and her colleague Ebony Reeves started working on the plastic visor piece of the face shield on their 3D printer, however, the printer can only successfully make smaller plastic items.
At that point, Andolsen reached out to Township Administrator Tony Mercantante and Mayor Tony Perry with the idea to see if they could connect the library with the school district to see if they could use the school district’s commercial grade 3D printers, according to the press release.
Enter Marc Siegel, education technology specialist, who volunteered to use some 3D printers from the school district – coordinated by school district Business Administrator Amy Doherty and Manager of Information Services David Siwiak – and print the plastic part of the visors, according to the press release.
Mercantante sent along a medically approved design for the visors. Public Works Director Ted Maloney procured the plastic shields donated by Middletown’s All American Print Shop. Siegel then printed more than 100 plastic visors and the plastic visors along with the face shields were delivered to the library to be assembled, according to the press release.
Library staff members Wendy LaTona, John Driscoll and Ed Morgado played with the design and followed a template, created by Seigel, showing how to punch holes in the film to finish constructing the shields.
“Mr. Siegel is well-versed in the use of these printers and has been a wonderful resource for us in making these face shields,” Andolsen said. “The face shields are easy to make so we will continue to assemble as many as our local health care workers and first responders need.”
Health care workers or first responders who are in need of a face shield may email email@example.com or call 732-671-3700, ext. 320.