TILDEN TWP., Pa. - The whir of the 3D printer is music to some people's ears.

"I am just amazed," said Adelle Schade, the director of Albright College's Science Research Institute and the mastermind of the Berks PPE Resource Network.

The network is reaching new milestones every week; more than 18,000 face shields have been 3D-printed and donated to essential workers in Berks County. Now, surrounding counties are taking notice.

"We also have three different networks beginning this week in other counties that are replicating our model," said Schade.

The PPE Resource Network has donated face shields to nearly 200 essential businesses in the county, from private medical practices to police departments. One of the first to receive a face shield donation was Tilden Township.

"If we would have to have contact with somebody who is either known to have COVID-19 or had symptoms that they could possibly have it, we could put on an N95 mask, we would put on that protective face shield and then we would put a surgical mask on the patient," said Chief William McEllroy, Tilden Township Police Department.

McEllroy is done with just receiving; he's now on the giving end of the resource network. He's bought his own 3D printer and is ready to give back.

"I never thought I'd actually go and do it myself," said McEllroy. "The more I looked into it, the more I was enthusiastic to help."

He said using a 3D printer comes with a bit of a learning curve, but it's his way of helping to flatten the case curve.

"I think the generosity of everybody helping is absolutely astounding," said McEllroy.

The Berks PPE Resource Network is in need of 3D printing and monetary donations. Learn more about how you can help on the network's website.

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