Friday, April 24, 2020

Donations help to protect Raymond’s Emergency Medical Services

Carol Dennison, Paramedic/Firefighter and 
Connor Glavin, EMT/Firefighter wear the face shields 
made and donated by Scott Trebilock and 
the fabric mask donated by Fred and Susan Miller, 
all three of Raymond.
By Briana Bizier

Emergency services in Raymond can breathe a little easier now thanks to two generous donations of protective face shields and fabric “over masks.” The face shields were created by South Portland High School teacher Scott Trebilcock using the school’s 3D printer, and Raymond residents Fred and Susan Miller donated the “over masks,” which can be used to cover the department’s N95 respirators.

These shields and masks will help to protect Raymond’s first responders against the coronavirus.

We have dealt with several confirmed cases,” said Bruce Tupper, the chief of Raymond’s Fire and Rescue Department. Tupper explains that his department offers full emergency medical services, which includes emergency medical transport to a hospital. “We should be called the EMS department who occasionally deal with a fire,” Tupper joked.

zgreenfield@bgt-law.comUnder current circumstances, personal protective equipment is essential for Fire and Rescue workers responding to a medical emergency that may turn out to be complications arising from a coronavirus infection. The Raymond Fire and Rescue Department uses surgical gowns or Tyvek suits as well as N95 respirators on any call that is ruled “high risk.”

The CDC now recommends using a cleanable face shield over an N95 respirator to help preserve the N95 masks and increase their reusability. Thanks to Raymond residents Fred and Susan Miller, the Raymond Fire and Rescue Department now has an excess of thirty fabric “over masks” to use on top of their N95 respirators. These three-layer masks were hand-sewn by Susan Miller in a variety of different patterns and colors and then donated to the department.

It really does help to protect us,” Tupper explained. The cloth face masks extend the life of the department’s N95 respirators while the face shields help to protect the eyes and face from any air-born virus-harboring droplets without obscuring vision. “We have been amazed at the number of people going above and beyond in support of emergency services,” Tupper continued. “It is deeply appreciated.” resident Scott Trebilcock, a Technology teacher at South Portland High School, created the
donated face shields using two of the school’s 3D printers. 3D printing, which is the process of creating a three-dimensional model using computer aided design, might sound like something from the science fiction television show Star Trek, but this futuristic technology is proving its practical applications in the fight against the coronavirus. In addition to the face shields Trebilcock donated to Raymond’s Fire and Rescue Department, he is also making extenders to keep face masks secure without the annoying elastic straps that go behind your ears and almost invariably cause skin irritation.

The coronavirus pandemic has made personal protective gear for emergency medical personnel, like face shields, harder and harder to find. In an email exchange, Deputy Chief Cathy Gosselin said Raymond Fire and Rescue had been unable to find any additional protective face shields to replenish their supply before Trebilcock’s donation. “There’s a shortage of supplies,” explained Don Willard, Raymond’s Town Manager. “You can’t even buy some of these things. That’s just one reason why we’re incredibly appreciative for these donations.”

In the face of these shortages and complications, Raymond residents have pulled together to protect their town’s emergency medical personnel. “At a difficult time like this,” Willard continued, “it’s really gratifying to live in a small town where people step up and help one another.”

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