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Burnett students committed to PPE production

By Don Fennell

Published 2:26 PDT, Tue April 28, 2020

Chris Lam has his sights set on a career as a paramedic. Right now, the Burnett secondary student’s focus is on helping save lives another way—by making personal protective equipment.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lam and fellow Grade 12 students at the Richmond school are kept busy—between online learning—churning out ear savers and protective face shields. Using futuristic 3D technology, Lam and his colleagues in the robotics club have, to date, donated more than 300 of the highly-coveted PPE items to local care homes, Richmond Hospital, Vancouver General Hospital, Coast Mountain Bus Company and several care homes in Manitoba.

But the students are now running out of supplies, and are asking for the public’s help. They need PETG sheets (0.03 inches thick) or clear polycarbonate sheets (0.01 to 0.03 inches thick) and PETG filament (2.85 millimetres). They could also use some elastic straps.

“Right now, because of the (limited) material we have, we can only print so many items,” says Lam.

Lam has many friends working on the front lines during the coronavirus crisis. They range from paramedics to workers in hospitals, clinics and care homes. All of them, he says, serve as constant motivation. All are performing yeoman’s service.

“I’m too young to be part of the BC Ambulance Service yet, but I want to climb the ladder as a paramedic,” says Lam, who is grateful for the co-operation and support of teachers and administrators in the Richmond School District.

“We’ve been getting a lot of support from the district,” he explains. “Our superintendent, Scott Robinson, talked with our principal (Wennie Walker) about shipping the PPEs we’ve been making to different places. And we’ve gotten printers from all over the district for this project. They have been so supportive in what we are trying to accomplish.”

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