Grandpa came up with the idea. He’d heard the message that Michael Garron Hospital was asking Torontonians to sew non-surgical masks to help protect the community.
Demaras had rolls of fabric in his workshop, and the instructions for how to sew masks were readily available online here and here. The next step was getting Michelle, Daniel and Chris to work cutting, folding and stitching.
Within a couple of days, the Demaras family has sewn over 100 masks while staying home and staying safe. It’s literally something almost anyone can do.
Stay home, stay safe. Practice social distancing. But also learn how you can help (even if you can’t sew) by visiting:
Using the 3D printers at their shop in Ajax, ON, Darryl Timmers and Curtis Fox of PRO worked all week long printing up visors, using the template provided on https://theppedrive.com/. Demaras Racing made the 60 km round trip to pick up all the visors the PRO guys made so far. As soon as the car was loaded, Darryl went back to work on producing more valuable safety equipment for front line workers, explaining that PRO ordered a second 3D printer to be able to double their output.
On the drive back to the Toronto the roads were empty, almost abandoned. The mayor’s daily pleas for Torontonians to stay home are working. But upon arrival at Michael Garron Hospital, hand-painted signs of support for the healthcare workers were all over the hospital’s facility, inside and out.
Locals bringing boxes of supplies to the donation centre had filled the area, as two hospital staff helped unload and inventory the precious cargo. All those donations to the hospital will help the fight against the virus, and create a real feeling of community involvement. The crisis is uniting Canadians to work together.
Only a week ago, Michael Garron Hospital had received only 3,000 3D printed visors. But continued community involvement from people just like Timmers, Fox and Demaras has increased so much that as of yesterday the hospital is very close to reaching the target of 10,000 emergency face shields.
Demaras Racing continues to work with Professional Racing Ontario and other local businesses to produce protective equipment for other hospitals in Ontario.
Join the fight against the COVID-19! To find out how you can help:
In the United States, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the public wear cloth face coverings in settings where physical distancing measures are hard to maintain. Back home, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has released a statement that Canadians can use non-medical masks along with physical distancing, hand hygiene, and other measures to limit the transmission of the virus, noting that public wearing of medical masks may result in additional shortages of masks needed to protect front-line healthcare workers.
So, rather than using up the scarce and limited resources of N95 or surgical masks, Canadians are turning to home-made solutions. One option for those in the motorsports community is…their helmets.
Helmets allows the wearer to breathe through the opening at the bottom of the helmet and through vents. Even though outside air has to travel a different route, it is reaching the helmet wearer unfiltered. However, wearing a balaclava under the helmet would provide a physical barrier (similar to a non-medical mask) that blocks the path of air and droplets of those speaking moistly.
Does it make sense to wear your Arai or HJC helmet with full NOMEX balaclava to go outside?
Christopher Proietto is a good guy. After years of successful racing, he transitioned to become a mechanic under the PRO tent. Daniel Demaras was fortunate enough to spend nearly two seasons under Christopher’s guidance.
Word has spread about the urgent need for PPE donations, and now the Proiettos have also joined the fight against the virus. The Caledon, ON, based family are working directly with local hospitals to create emergency face shields using 3D printing technology.
The PRO teammate has taken it one step further by setting up a GoFundMe page with a goal of collecting $5,000 in donations for the production of PPE for the Headwaters Health Care Centre in Orangville, ON.
Production of the pro-shield has continued all week. With limited time and resources, the PRO guys have done an incredible job making something out of nothing but a few kilos of PLA. The raw material has yielded multiple finished products, and with the 3D printer running all weekend, the first batch of emergency face shields will be delivered to Michael Garron Hospital on Easter Monday.
Daniel, Darryl and Curtis from Professional Racing Ontario were never going to fill the shortage themselves. The goal of the campaign was to challenge the racing community to join the fight against the virus. Many race shops have 3D printers, and if the message could get out to enough people, others would do their part.
The response on social media has been incredible, with thousands of people reached, and most importantly, the story being shared over 100 times. That kind of networking will quickly spread the word!
About a week ago, I received this a letter about someone who’d read about my donation to the local hospital.
I saw that you donated your racing sponsorship money to your local hospital. I have many clients who are doctors on the front line and they are BEGGING anyone who will listen for supplies. What you did was selfless, honourable and showed a lot of character. It takes a big man to make a decision like that. I am sending you cash to add to your racing fund. It is a fraction of what is necessary when it comes to how expensive your racing career costs – but I wanted to send something to show you I respect what you did.
This isn’t a family member, or someone I know well enough to call at Christmas. But his letter really meant something to me. Thank you, Dan.
PRO team owners Darryl Timmers and Curtis Fox have always been very encouraging of Daniel Demaras and Chris Demaras. Whether it’s teaching Daniel about trail braking, or explaining ‘righty-tighty, lefty-loosey’ to Chris (again) the PRO guys are beyond supportive. This time, they’ve helped the Demaras family spread word of the urgent need for PPE donations through the power of social media.
Many concerned citizens in Canada have done their best to help meet the needs of PPE for health care workers.
But news today about millions of medical masks from 3M being blocked at the US-Canada border only underscores the point; we need a Canadian solution to the problem!
In response to an urgent plea from hospitals in the GTA for personal protective equipment (PPE), Professional Racing Ontario and their driver Daniel Demaras are helping to fill the void by using 3D Printing to make protective face shields.
Local hospitals are calling on the community to help create PPE to protect health care professionals. There is a critical shortage of PPE supplies, and while large manufacturers are ramping up production to meet demand, the community can bridge the gap between now and then.
“While we’re all pacing and preparing for the racing season, we’ve put our machinery to work for something different this time. Demaras contacted us for help on the project because PRO has the ability to create these face shields through our engineering background and in-house 3D printing technology. Now we’re challenging others in the racing community to step up and join the fight.”
Darryl Timmers Professional Racing Ontario
PRO expects to have the first batch of emergency face shields ready mid-week for Daniel Demaras to deliver to Michael Garron Hospital (formerly Toronto East General Hospital). That’s the same hospital Demaras visited last week to donate PPE supplies to, paid for by sponsor money earmarked for his 2020 racing season.
“I shared the story about my PPE donation to the hospital, hoping it would motivate my racing rivals to do the same. But suppliers of gloves and protective masks are out of stock, and I knew a creative solution to the problem was needed. That’s where PRO raced to the rescue.”
Daniel Demaras, PRO Driver
PRO and Demaras are covering all the costs associated with building masks, but any individuals or businesses with access to 3D printing technology are strongly encouraged to do their part. Approved specifications for face shields are below, as well as locations where completed masks can be brought. If you are unable or unwilling to visit a local hospital to deliver the masks, Demaras will pick-up anywhere in Southern Ontario.
Formula 1 World Champion, FIA World Endurance Champion, and UNICEF ambassador Fernando Alonso joined the fight against ‘The Virus’ by making a huge donation. The Spaniard personally donated 300,000 masks and 4,000 sets of personal protective equipment (PPE) to healthcare laborers who are battling the infection.
The World Champion has raced in F1, WEC, the Dakar Rally and is schedule to race in the Indy 500 this year. Asked about his racing plans, Alonso deflected comment by saying
“…until this is all over, I don’t have much desire to fight or to think about putting the helmet back on…”