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Guelph businessman steps up to help frontline workers

A Guelph businessman has spent $21,000 of his own money to supply frontline health care workers
Screenshot 2020-03-26 at 4.18.29 PM
A Guelph businessman has purchased $21,000 worth of these protective face shields from Kitchener-based InkSmith for area front line emergency workers. Twitter photo

A Guelph businessman has spent $21,000 of his own money to supply frontline health care workers in the city with protective face shields.

Darren Devine was watching the news Monday and saw a story about Kitchener tech firm InkSmith that had switched its focus during the epidemic and was producing protective face shields using a laser-cut headband and reinforcement piece, a clear protective face shield and an adjustable elastic head strap.

The device, that the company says has been approved by Health Canada, has been named #canadianshield.

“I reached out the next morning and said ‘guys can I get 1,000 of these things?’ They said ‘are you kidding me?’”

After assuring them he wasn’t the response was “well, we can do it.”

InkSmith has been making two varietes of face shields, one of them in part with support of community contributors who are producing parts on 3D printers.

Devine, who owns Devine & Associates Financial Services, ordered 1,000 shields, which acts as a barrier to airborn particles, and then placed two more orders of 1,000 shields. Arrangements for the shields to be distributed to Guelph General Hospital staff, Groves hospital staff in Fergus, paramedics and firefighters. He then placed a second order that will be distributed to firefighters in Rockwood, Fergus and Elora.

“That’s 3,000 frontline face shields in the last two days to the folks that need them most,” said Devine, who expects to receive all the shields by the end of next week.

“These are the best of the best of the best,” he said of the quality of the product.

The beauty of the shields is that they provide excellent protection when combined with goggles and face masks, but can also be cleaned and disinfected, so they can be reused.

“The feedback has been overwhelming and I’m just so proud to be able to help out our community, especially our frontline workers who have been working tirelessly to keep us safe.

“This community has been really good to me and I thought it was time to flex my muscles and help out."