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Hinds CC supplies vital equipment to help health-care workers in virus fight

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Wesley Smith, left, director of nursing for nurse practitioners at University of Mississippi Medical Center, and Sherri Smith, a respiratory therapist at the hospital, demonstrate how a tension release band works on surgical masks in use by medical personnel. (Photo courtesy Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Hinds Community College’s innovative Fab Lab is helping to make personal protective equipment, or PPEs, become safer and more comfortable in the fight to stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

With the help of the latest in 3-D printing technology, the college is supplying tension release bands for surgical masks currently being used by doctors, nurses and other health-care providers to treat patients stricken by COVID-19. All health-care workers, whether they are directly treating coronavirus patients or not, are now wearing the masks.

The roughly 4-inch-long bands will hold the elastic strips of the surgical mask that usually go over the user’s ears. Such prolonged use can produce skin irritation, much like tight-fitting frames on eyeglasses. The strips will provide comfort to health-care workers who are wearing surgical masks all day. Also, they can prevent the user from having to touch the mask to adjust or remove it.

“The amount of time a nurse or doctor wears these masks has increased significantly,” said David Hollis, Robotics and AI Lab Tech Specialist at Hinds. “The elastic strips have a tendency to cut into the skin.”

A 3D printer produces a set of surgical mask tension release bands at the Fab Lab at Hinds Community College Raymond Campus. (Photo courtesy Hinds Community College/Tammi Bowles)

Hollis and drafting technology instructor and Fab Lab director Phil Cockrell produced the first 250 of the bands inside the lab on the Raymond Campus for a unit at University of Mississippi Medical Center. They expect more requests once other facilities learn about them.

Hinds is among a number of entities around the world printing the bands and other protective equipment for health organizations. The cost to print the bands was about 58 cents each, Cockrell said, though the college is donating the bands to UMMC at no cost.

The base technology for producing them was obtained from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Sciences National Institutes of Health 3D Print Exchange. Inside the lab, heated fibers of polylactic acid were fed through one of several 3D printers to make the bands, all according to a set of instructions fed into a computer.

“The small fibers look like weed-eater cord going into the machine,” Hollis said. “Our Prusa printers have done all the heavy lifting for the job.”

The Fab Lab is outfitted with 3-D printers, laser cutters and related equipment of varying sizes capable of etching designs or cutting flat sheet material such as acrylic or metal. The lab is financed through a U.S. Department of Education Predominantly Black Institutions grant, which has made printing of the mask release bands possible.

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Vicksburg Firefighters quickly extinguish apartment fire

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Firefighters at the Shadow Cliff Apartment fire. (Photo by Tommy Parker)

Vicksburg firefighters quickly extinguished a stove top fire at the Shadow Cliff Apartments on Alcorn Drive Monday Night.

 

At 10:08 p.m. a fire was reported at the apartments that sit between the New Main apartments and Greater Grove Missionary Church. Alcorn Drive was shut down as firefighters worked to supply water to the fire.

The resident, who is visually impaired, smelled smoke and did exactly what firefighters and Chief Danczyk recommend – if you smell smoke call 911.

The resident had left something on the stove and it burned, creating the smoke.

“I always take fire calls seriously. Several years ago I answered a call where there were children still in a house. I had to put them out of a window then follow them out. This one turned out well in that no one was injured. Don’t hesitate if you think you have a fire. Dial 911 and get out!” explained a passionate Eric Paymon, Adam 3 with the Vicksburg Police Department.

Battalion 1, Platform 1, Ladder 3, Rescue, Fire Medics and numerous Vicksburg police officers including Adam 3, responded to the fire.

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China Grove temporarily closed due to an accident

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The Kia Forte and utility pole. (photo by Tommy Parker)

At 9:06 p.m. Monday night, a call came into the 911 call center of a single vehicle accident at 2060 China Grove Road. The impact took out power to the area and created a hazardous situation with power lines on the ground.

 

The area between Gibson Road and Nine Mile Cutoff will be closed while the wreck is cleaned up.

A utility pole was knocked down by the impact of the vehicle that ended up on its roof. Power to the immediate area is out and there are power lines on the ground. About 10 homes are without power according to Entergy.

The Kia Forte with full air bag deployment with electric wires on it. (Photo by Tommy Parker)

The driver of the grey Kia Forte suffered only minor injuries. He was checked out by first responders and released at the scene.

Daniel Thomas is working the accident for the Warren County Sheriff’s Office being assisted by Deputies Cordell Watkins and Thomas McBride . Responding to the accident were Fire Boss Jerry Briggs, Fisher Ferry Chief Mitch Lange along with Tim Wood and Robin Knighton of the Fisher Ferry fire department who worked the accident scene from Engine 303.

First responders and Warren County Fire Boss Jerry Briggs are requesting you avoid the area until the accident scene is deemed safe.

 

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City says gas smell poses no danger

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(Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay)

Numerous Vicksburg residents have reported a strong odor similar to natural gas in the city.

City officials say the smell is apparently due to a release on the harbor, and that it poses no danger.

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Vicksburg
30°
Clear
6:47am4:58pm CST
Feels like: 30°F
Wind: 1mph E
Humidity: 100%
Pressure: 30.26"Hg
UV index: 0
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55/32°F
63/45°F
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