VIRGINIA BEACH,Va. (WAVY) — The Virginia Beach public library system is creating personal protective equipment (PPE) for first responders during the coronavirus pandemic.

Staff at the Great Neck Area Library and Central Library are using seven 3D printers to create 21 face shields every day for first responders to use as they are answering emergency calls, according to a city news release.

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Virginia Beach Public Library got the idea to create PPEs during a conversation with the owner of a local 3D printing company.

“The business owner had equipment but needed space to produce protective equipment,” Eva Poole, director of libraries, wrote in the news release. “We wanted to support the concept, but for safety reasons, could not offer space or bring in visitors while our buildings are closed. So, our quick-thinking staff members immediately began investigating how we could employ VBPL’s 3D printers to produce equipment to protect Virginia Beach’s first responders.”

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The face shields are made with plastic sheeting, weather stripping tape, hole punches, and elastic headbands. The face shields are modeled after similar PPE created by Columbia University Libraries. They were designed by library staff after VBPL Technology Training Coordinator Nicole McGee researched the standards provided by the National Institute of Health, the news release states.

A prototype was delivered to the Virginia Beach Emergency Operations Center on april 8, and approved by members of the city’s Occupational Health, Fire, and Emergency Medical Services departments.

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