Firefighters have joined a school’s production line to make and deliver more than 26,000 face visors for frontline healthcare staff working during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Crews at Ramsgate and Margate fire stations are working with Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School to help its dedicated team of teachers, students, parents and volunteers to create the protective face shields.
The visors are being distributed to hospitals, doctor surgeries, care homes and other outlets across the South East.
The materials are made using a production line of guillotines and plastics line benders, and are then assembled at the school and at the fire stations.
With their combined efforts, the crews and school volunteers are making approximately 2,400 visors a day. The items are delivered directly to the frontline within hours of completion.
Matt Deadman, area manager at Kent Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We are delighted to be able to support the school in its efforts to create these visors, which will help to protect those working in hospitals and healthcare facilities.
“Our firefighters and non-operational staff all want to make a meaningful contribution to their local community during these unprecedented times, and this initiative is a great way to share that enthusiasm and community spirit.”
To date, over 19,092 of the visors are in use at hospitals, including Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, as well as in nursing homes, mental health units, dentists, prisons and doctor surgeries.
KFRS staff are also helping the school team to deliver the shields across the region.
Tom Brewin, Head of Design Technology at the school, said: “The response we have received from the community has been phenomenal and we’re delighted to now have the support of Kent Fire and Rescue Service.
“By having the fire service on board, we are able to increase the production and meet the growing demand of the visors across the South East, which is just fantastic.
“We have had great feedback from NHS staff and others who have been wearing the masks, who all say how comfortable and robust they are.”
Since production began on April 1, the school has so far raised over £15,000 to manufacture the masks.