LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. --
Luke Airmen are helping fight Coronavirus Disease 2019 by supplying protective equipment for medical professionals and essential employees assigned to Luke.
EMS Airmen are using 3D printers and other equipment to create personal protective equipment, including face shields, tension bars and masks, for the 56th Medical Group and Luke military members. These 3-D printers are typically used by EMS to print prototype fixtures.
“We were able to find on the National Institute for Health website the face shields that we’re actually authorized to print and that are allowed to be used in the medical community,” said Tech. Sgt. Robert Burns, 56th EMS noncommissioned officer in charge of metals technology. “The sheet metals shop next door is doing the clear part of the face shields.”
In addition to the 3D printing accomplished at the shop, some Airmen used their personal home equipment to create masks. Overall 30 masks and 120 tension bars have been printed.
In combination with the active duty efforts Air Reserve Staff Sgt. Terri Miller, 944th Maintenance Group aircraft metals technology technician, has been sewing masks from donated materials and material she purchased, making over 300 masks for Luke essential workers.
“The idea started because my friend’s little girl has leukemia, I started by making her masks,” said Miller. “I’ve made masks for a doctor in Maryland, a dentist in Ohio, a nurse in Oklahoma. I’ve sent them all over the country. When it became a [DOD] mandate on Sunday, I walked in on Monday morning with 16 in hand.”
The effort to combat COVID-19 has demonstrated how Airmen can make a difference in protecting military members, their families and the community through their contributions during adversity.
“It’s the total force integration concept,” said Burns. “There’s a lot of bases where with active duty and reserve the relationship is not there, here at Luke it is. We work together to get the mission done whether it’s fixing airplanes or getting through a pandemic.”