Langley City truck driver Petko Ganachev wasn’t expecting too many people would answer the call when he went looking for volunteers to make face shields for medical front-line staff (courtesy Petko Ganachev)

Langley City truck driver Petko Ganachev wasn’t expecting too many people would answer the call when he went looking for volunteers to make face shields for medical front-line staff (courtesy Petko Ganachev)

From a few volunteers to more than 600; how a Langley initiative to make supplies for medical first responders has grown

Demand is ‘huge,’ says Langley City resident who created not-for-profit group

When Langley City truck driver Petko Ganachev got started making face shields and ear savers for medical front-line workers, he wasn’t expecting to create one of the biggest all-volunteer, not-for-profit efforts of it’s kind.

But when he made a call for people to help make and assemble the devices, he got a bigger response than the 10 to 15 people he was expecting.

“It started with one request at the end of March,” Ganachev told the Langley Advance Times.

It was a conversation on social media with a person whose partner worked in a care home and was hoping to find someone who could make face shields for staff at the home.

That led Ganachev, a 3D printing hobbyist, to launch a group to make face shields using 3D printers and donated laminating sheets provided by Staples.

Then, the group got into making ear savers, plastic straps that reduce chafing by medical mask straps.

As of mid-May, the B.C. Covid-19 3D Printing Group Ganachev started has grown to an estimated 600 volunteers in B.C., Alberta, and Ontario, who have so far made 10,000 face shields and 50,000 ear savers.

READ ALSO: How a Langley company went from making plastic food containers to medical grade face shields in less than a week

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Printing up help for health care workers in Langley

Ganachev suspects the non-profit initiative may have become one of the biggest of its kind in B.C. and Canada, possibly even the world.

And even at that scale, it is running hard to keep up with requests.

“We have 150,000 outstanding orders,” Ganachev estimated.

“There’s huge demand.”

Requests are coming in from across Canada and even the U.S.

The most distant location to inquire was in Tucson Arizona, from people Ganachev hopes to connect with U.S. makers rather than deal with cross-border shipping.

A GoFundMe campaign started in April, “BC COVID-19 3D Printed Face Shields and Ear Savers,” has raised about half of a $10,000 goal to help pay for supplies.

“Everyone working on this project has and will continue to do so completely on their own time, solely in the hopes that we can make a difference in the fight that we’re all unwilling participants in,” the GoFundMe message stated.

Donations of materials and cash can also be made through the group website at https://www.bcc3d.ca.

“We can make cash go very far because we’re working with industry partners to buy at cost,” Ganachev explained.

Partners and supporters include Coho Commissary, Cypress Solutions, LNG Studios, MG Chemicals, Pacific Bindery Services, Rain City Games, R&M Trade Laminating, Staples, and Vancouver Hack Space.

While he coordinates the group, Ganachev continues to drive for Ken Johnson Trucking, a Langley-based tanker truck company, where he has worked for the last 10 years.



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusLangley City

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

An image of one of the protective shield designs being made by volunteers with the B.C. Covid-19 3D Printing Group (courtesy B.C. Covid-19 3D Printing Group, used with permission)

An image of one of the protective shield designs being made by volunteers with the B.C. Covid-19 3D Printing Group (courtesy B.C. Covid-19 3D Printing Group, used with permission)

Just Posted

On Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, the Township approved a rainbow crosswalk between the school district and RCMP buildings in Murrayville, but did not earmark funds for the project. (Langley Advance Times file)
Out On Patrol police group backs rainbow crosswalk in Langley

Urges supporters to donate to cover cost of $12,000 crossing near main RCMP detachment

Chris Wejr, principal of Aldergrove’s Shortreed Elementary, made U.S. senator Bernie Sanders a playground monitor (Twitter image)
Another Bernie Sanders meme, this time in Langley

Principal adds image of mitten-wearing U.S. senator to playground photo

Langley City hall (City of Langley image)
Langley City financial plan scales back SkyTrain preparations

If approved, the average homeowner taxes would go up by $154

Giants defenceman Bowen Byram has recorded his first NHL career point (Rob Wilton/special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Vancouver Giants Bowen Byram records first NHL career point with Colorado Avalanche

Player with Langley-based WHL franchise assisted on goal against the Ducks

Surrey Fire Service responded to a fire in the industrial area of 192nd street and 54th Avenue early Saturday morning (Jan. 23, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey crews respond to fire in industrial area

Fire happened early Saturday morning

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

sd
VIDEO: Mission drag racer scores 1st career win, sets world record, makes history in 2020

Justin Bond, founder and owner of JBS Equipment Mission, has break-out year

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Most Read