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Las Cruces could soon be a producer of PPEs


A very cool thing is happening in Las Cruces, but the person working to put it all together doesn’t want any recognition. We’ll call him Saint.

Saint saw a recent news story about a family in Waxachatchie, Texas, that has developed and is producing helmet masks that can utilize wall-supplied air instead of the need for traditional ventilators.

In the news story, Saint said, the owner stated that he would be willing to provide the plans at no charge to anyone who would produce the items, and that Virgin Galactic’s owner, Sir Richard Branson, had recently called him to donate additional machines for production.

“The story moved me greatly, as my daughter has been intubated and on a ventilator many times,” Saint said. “When this happens, it actually is a detriment to the body function, because heavy amounts of drugs must be used to sedate the patient, which further suppresses the system.”

With 20,000 square feet of warehousing capability at his disposal and very little use for it while the nation is locked down to slow the COVID-19 infection rate, Saint began reaching out to politicians and community leaders to see if the Waxahatchie experiment could be replicated in Las Cruces.

The response was quick and positive, and Saint said both Mayor Ken Miyagishima and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s offices are involved, as well as a number of state legislators.

“From the moment I saw the story, I started planning on how I could rearrange my facilities to accommodate the necessary production machines and storage of these helmets,” Saint said.

In addition to space to make available, Saint has access to commercial trucking resources, which would make distribution feasible for any materials manufactured locally.

Not only that, bit adjacent to one of the properties Saint is referencing is a pad large enough to accommodate helicopter landings for delivery of emergency supplies.

But what about staffing the operation?

“Some of the people in my circle of support include an industrial engineer who would gladly oversee the set up and help train in production,” Saint said. “I’m not interested in making a profit, just to pay the overhead costs in an attempt to provide additional relief to the patients, families and medical facilities that are lacking this life-saving equipment. It is my belief that, with support from officials and their willingness to reach out to the Sea-Long Company to obtain the plans, as well as approaching benefactors in our state such as Mr. Branson, we could provide the place, people, volunteers and production of the devices.”

At presstime, Saint was still working to determine if his plan can become a reality, but he said he doesn’t plan to give up until someone flat-out says it’s not doable.

“I’m passionate about this,” he said. “I’ve reached out to every contact I have that may be able to help in getting ahold of Sea-Long and helping to get the green light. I sent a message via Facebook to the Sea-Long company asking for some basic equipment information to assess the feasibility of the undertaking.”