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Helping those on the front lines: Ad Astra Coalition fights to end the spread of COVID-19

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – An aviation dream team is working with WSU Tech to make much-needed supplies for first responders. Spirit, Textron, Airbus, WSU and other businesses are stepping up to provide more PPE equipment to local and rural hospitals.

The mission is to create more face masks for those who need it most. The unique idea to unite these companies was brought up weeks ago, but on Thursday, the teamwork paid off with the first delivery.

A welcome sight for the Sedgwick County Fire Department, who received new face shield mask.

“Obviously, the aviation industry isn’t in the current place where we would like it to be from an economic standpoint, but they still have all their skills, capabilities, equipment and expertise,” said Director of Intellectual Property and Tech Transfer, Rob Gerlach.

“One of the concerns we were hearing from the medical community was that obviously you use a stethoscope on one patient, and you go to another patient you don’t want to keep using the same stethoscope. That would be a very easy carrier of the virus potentially. So what we were able to do is using some public domain sources we were able to identify a particular design that we could create on the 3D printers that we have,” added Gerlach.

Ad Astra Coalition hopes to make anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 face shield mask and 2,000 stethoscopes with most of them being donated to Kansas medical personal.

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