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Community makes 3D-printed masks for Utah County first responders

Posted at 7:21 PM, Mar 29, 2020

PROVO, Utah — In an effort to secure protective masks for first responders, the Provo Police Department is enlisting the help of the community.

The department recently sent a tweet asking those with 3D printers to print masks.

A link was provided to a free blueprint that community members could input into their printers.

The homemade masks will help deal with a shortage caused by the coronavirus.

“It’s not perfect, but it is an alternative to the shortage we are experiencing,” said Provo Police Sgt. Nisha King.

After posting the tweet, the department received an outpouring of support from people who wanted to help.

“I am amazed at the outreach we have received from not even just our community, but people all over,” King said. “I am speechless to the amount of generosity we have experienced.”

The department hopes to collect more than 500 masks to distribute to its own officers as well as the Provo Fire Department and Utah County Sheriff’s Office.

The design allows a replaceable filter to be placed in the front of the mask. The filter is made with materials from N-95 masks, which are currently in short supply. One N-95 mask can be cut into five pieces, providing filters for five reusable masks.

“That really stretches the number of masks they can utilize,” King said.

The department will accept donations from 9 AM to 5 PM on Monday, March 30.

Any surplus masks will be donated to other agencies in Utah County.

“It [coronavirus] is very trying, which is more reason to unify,” King said. “I feel that we are very fortunate here in Provo to have a supportive community.”