EYE ON INNOVATION
Code 2330 Nuclear Engineer David Shamblin used his personal 3-D printer to print PPE that was donated to Sentara Obici Hospital in Suffolk, Virginia.
“YOU MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE WHEN YOU HELP OTHERS”: NNSY PERSONNEL HELP LOCAL MEDICAL FACILITIES IN FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19 STORY BY KRISTI BRITT • PUBLIC AFFAIRS SPECIALIST PHOTOS BY DANNY DEANGELIS • NNSY PHOTOGRAPHER As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and medical professionals work around the clock to care for those affected, there has been a need for equipment and a call-to-action for those willing to assist. For many, this meant simply following the guidelines set forth by their state, donating what they could. However, some took a more innovative
10 • SERVICE TO THE FLEET • JUNE 2020
approach to ensure those working on the frontlines were well equipped for the challenges at hand. Norfolk Naval Shipyard’s (NNSY) Code 105.7 Radiological Control Technical Qualification School (RCTQS) Instructor Aaron Bass saw an opportunity to help. Being friends with two Infectious Disease Doctors at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, he heard directly what frontline workers were experiencing. “As we are all dealing with the impact of COVID-19 in every aspect of our lives, we are seeing and hearing about the struggles it is placing on the health care community,” said Bass. “Like most hospitals and medical facilities around the country, Sentara Norfolk General was facing a significant shortage in the personal protective equipment (PPE) necessary to continue to protect the health care workers that we rely on to take care of those affected by this virus.” Bass explained that the hospital estimated that there may not be enough supplies to last through the coming weeks with the rate of patients being admitted to the hospital. “This isn’t an isolated problem but one that is being experienced in every community, in every corner of America,” said Bass. “My friend working on the frontline in the hospital said that he was on the verge of using a bandana as a last resort for PPE and it offered little protection. When I realized that I could possibly do something to help I felt obligated to do whatever I could.” Bass recently bought a three-dimensional (3-D) printer after losing one of his index fingers at the beginning of 2020 as a way to construct a prosthetic in his time of need. Fairly new to the technology, Bass was able to find several open source files online to help construct a substitute respirator and face shield mount that