TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A local businessman is spearheading the production of a new piece of equipment to protect healthcare workers when they are caring for patients with COVID-19.
The device is called an aerosol box.
“Right now, it is prepping,” said Roy Kirchner, the businessman behind the movement. “It is getting everything done. It is making as many of these as possible and storing them away so that we are prepared.”
Kirchner is the founder and the president of Ultimate 3D Printing Store in Odessa. He said he usually works with a company in Tampa, Pirate City Plastics, to create a certain type of enclosure for his printers. When he saw the design for the aerosol box, he knew he could have them made quickly.
The boxes were originally built in Taiwan.
“We started receiving over 100 calls a day,” said Kirchner. “From hospitals, from husbands and wives of nurses and doctors saying, ‘Can you help us?’”
So he called the owner of Pirate City Plastics, David Bryant.
“All of the big box retailers were calling him to build protective glass and he said, ‘This is more important,’” said Kirchner.
The two men are putting all of their energy and resources into the production of the aerosol boxes. They act as a barrier between the doctor and the infected patient during intubation.
“When they are putting a ventilator inside a COVID-19 patient, they basically can protect themselves,” said Kirchner pointing to the box, “so all of it is being contained in here.”
The boxes are made of plexiglass, which is becoming more and more difficult to find in mass quantities.
Kirchner said, in addition to the plexiglass, he could use cardboard boxes to store the aerosol boxes, trucks to transport them to the hospitals that need them, and donations to continue to produce them.
They are making at least 50 boxes every day.
“Listen, I am just doing my part. They are the heroes, not me,” said Kirchner about healthcare workers on the frontlines. “They are selfless. They are absolutely selfless. They are putting themselves in danger and I am just happy to help them. It is not me. It is them.
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