A trio of volunteers in Brock are using 3D printers to create ear guards for frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Led by Cannington businessman Mike Bassett and Beaverton resident Jonathan Koot – with some help from Hunter Lovering of Sunderland – the local effort was inspired by a social media post highlighting a similar initiative in Italy.
“We did a test, saw it would work and it just snowballed from there,” Bassett said in a recent interview.
“We just wanted to help people.”
Printing from three locations, the trio can produce as many as 250 ear guards – designed to attach to the straps of a face mask – each and every day.
More than 6,500 have been donated to a range of healthcare and long-term care organizations throughout Durham and York regions, Kawartha Lakes and Simcoe County, as well as SickKids Hospital in Toronto.
“Everything is by donation,” Bassett said, noting that Cannington resident and firefighter Chris George was among the first to support the group’s effort.
Donations from Brock Township Mayor Debbie Bath-Hadden and the firefighters’ associations in Beaverton, Cannington and Sunderland helped cover the cost of two additional 3D printing machines.
Brock High School, in conjunction with Building Youth Capacity (formerly the Brock Youth Centre), has also donated two printers for use.
“The support we’ve received has been unbelievable. It’s simply incredible,” said Bassett.
“The whole community has gotten involved.”