Trish Choate, Wichita Falls Times Record News
Published 2:17 p.m. CT May 4, 2020
United Regional Health Care System workers receive donated face shields and intubation chambers April 17. Wichita County district attorney’s Chief Investigator Tye Davis, far left, volunteered to deliver the items to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Courtesy/West Texas 3-D COVID-19 Relief Consortium)
The long arm of the law reached out amid the COVID-19 pandemic to bring crucial protective gear to medical facilities across the Wichita Falls area.
North and West Texas law-enforcement officials banded together to help distribute personal protective equipment donated and made by the West Texas 3-D COVID-19 Relief Consortium.
“We were more than happy to oblige,” Tye Davis, chief investigator for the Wichita County District Attorney’s Office, said.
Law-enforcement officials from Lubbock, Wichita and Wilbarger counties, the 3-D group and Angel Flights South Central helped see to it that North Texas medical facilities received over 350 face shields and nearly 30 intubation chambers.
“We were able to distribute these PPE to healthcare workers who seem to be more on the front lines these days than law enforcement,” Davis said.
Law enforcement agencies from Wichita, Wilbarger and Lubbock counties teamed up to distribute intubation chambers like this one to local medical facilities. The West Texas 3-D COVID-19 Relief Consortium manufactured and donated them. (Photo: Courtesy/West Texas 3-D COVID-19 Relief Consortium)
The intubation chamber is a clear box that protects both the patient and the medical worker. The portable barrier allows the worker to reach inside the chamber through armholes to provide care.
Davis said the chief investigator from the Lubbock County DA’s Office, Todd Smith, requested his help delivering the face shields and intubation chambers from the 3-D consortium.
Smith works with acrylics in his spare time, and Texas Tech University in Lubbock is part of the group of West Texas colleges collaborating to make PPE for regional hospitals, officials said.
For the moment, the items are made mainly in Odessa, Midland and Lubbock, said Chanaka D. Senanayake, a post-doctoral research associate in Texas Tech’s Department of Industrial, Manufacturing and Systems Engineering.
Law enforcement agencies from Wichita, Wilbarger and Lubbock counties teamed up to distribute face shields like these to local medical facilities. The West Texas 3-D COVID-19 Relief Consortium manufactured them. (Photo: Courtesy/West Texas 3-D COVID-19 Relief Consortium)
It took two trips to deliver the goods.
For the first batch, humanitarian nonprofit Angel Flight flew two planes with the PPE on board April 17 to Kickapoo Downtown Airport where Davis met them.
Deliveries followed to United Regional Health Care System — which received 75 face masks and three intubation chambers — and to Kell West Regional Hospital, Promise Hospital of Wichita Falls and Electra Memorial Hospital, officials said.
In total, volunteers saw to it that these facilities received 120 face shields and seven intubation chambers, Senanayake said.
On April 23, Smith and Lubbock County DA’s Assistant Chief Investigator Gary Hobbs drove out to Vernon to bring more face shields and intubation chambers, according to Smith’s Facebook post.
The delivery crew also included Lubbock County DA Staley Heatly, Wilbarger County DA’s Chief Investigator Jeff Case and Davis.
They brought the protective gear to medical facilities in Quanah, Chillicothe, Vernon, Nocona, Henrietta, Olney, Graham, Jacksboro and Seymour.
Senanayake said the 3-D consortium sent 20 face shields and two intubation chambers each to the rural hospitals, as well as 40 face shields to the North Texas State Hospital in Wichita Falls.
The 3-D consortium includes experts across departments and specializations throughout West Texas, according to the group’s website at www.wt3dreliefconsortium.com.
The group brings together organizations, businesses and people to provide equipment and help health care workers. Members are using innovative methods to manufacture PPE, ventilators and ventilator components for healthcare facilities throughout the region.
Angel Flight pilots flew donated face shields and intubation chambers into Kickapoo Downtown Airport on April 17 for distribution to local hospitals. Wichita County district attorney’s Chief Investigator Tye Davis, far right, volunteered to deliver the items to local hospitals. (Photo: Courtesy/West Texas 3-D COVID-19 Relief Consortium)
“Our consortium prioritizes the needs of health care professionals who valiantly serve those living in 108 counties across the western half of the state,” consortium officials said on the website.
Trish Choate, enterprise watchdog reporter for the Times Record News, covers education, courts, breaking news, politics and more. Contact Trish with news tips at email@example.com. Her Twitter handle is @Trishapedia.
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