By Max Bowen firstname.lastname@example.org
Dylan Desrosiers saw a need, and with the help of his family and community, he’s working to meet it.
Desrosiers, a junior at North Attleborough High School, said that two weeks ago he saw news stories about people using their 3-D printers to make ventilators and face masks and reached out to people he knows who work in the medical field to see how he could help. Though North Attleborough doesn’t have the same case numbers—73 as of April 15—as the larger cities, Desrosiers said that even local departments and medical centers are in need of more Personal Protective Equipment.
“They’re pretty desperate for the stuff,” said Desrosiers.
The North student has a 3-D printer at home and began using it to make plastic face shields, but soon realized it wouldn’t be enough to meet the demand. NAHS has two 3-D printers, and he spoke to Superintendent Scott Holcomb and Principal Peter Haviland, who gave permission to take the devices home and use. It takes approximately 20 minutes to make the parts for the face shields and one minute to assemble.
“They [the school’s printers] increased productivity a lot,” he said.
With the three devices, Desrosiers said he can make between 75 and 100 face shields a day. So far he’s donated over 200—100 to Sturdy Memorial Hospital, 40 to the Plainville Fire Department, and, 60 to North Attleborough Police. He’s also received requests for at least 500 more for Beth Israel Hospital, the Somerset Police Department, and Charlton Hospital. His mother, father, and brother have been helping with the project by assembling the face shields or making deliveries.
“It’s pretty cool to be helping those people out,” said Desrosiers.
One issue has been supplies to make the masks, but in short order, the community stepped up to help. Desrosiers started a GoFundMe page with a goal of $500 and in a few days raised $1,500. Powers Energy also made a monetary donation, and the total raised is now over $2,300. Any leftover funding will be donated to where it’s most needed.
Lisa Powers of Powers Energy said that one her employees, Cheryl Milot, had sent her the link to Desrosiers’ GoFundMe page and they wanted to assist in the efforts.
“We felt like he was doing something that was amazing for the area first responders and we felt like we wanted to help,” said Powers.
Those that can’t make contribute money are asked a donation of plastic transparency paper—like the kind used in overhead projectors—or plastic binding cover sheets used on the front of bound reports. The high school and Staples, among others, have also donated supplies.
“It’s really nice to see the community come together and help out during these times,” he said.