East River Electric employee steps up to support healthcare workers

There’s no doubt the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging, but it’s also allowed us to see the power of community. All across the country, people are doing their part to provide much-needed medical supplies for healthcare workers.

Among them is Christopher Anderson, a journeyman substation technician with East River Electric Power Cooperative, a Basin Electric Class A member headquartered in Madison, South Dakota.

Chris Anderson

Christopher Anderson tries on a 3-D printed face mask.

Anderson already had experience 3-D printing, so when he saw an article online about a face mask that was designed to be 3-D printed, he jumped on the opportunity to help alleviate the shortage.

“3-D printing is a hobby that I really enjoy, so I teamed up with a couple of friends in town that have access to a printer and started producing these masks,” Anderson says.

A single mask can take five to six hours to produce. Anderson uses poly lactic acid plastic, silicone rubber seal gaskets, and filter materials that have been tested to block micro-particles (furnace filters, vacuum bags, and even blue disposable shop towels).

Anderson says it is important to come together as a community during this challenging time. Cooperatives were founded on community support and are committed to maintaining the services families, farms, and businesses need, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m very thankful to be part of the East River Electric family and know that we are doing what it takes in a pandemic situation to keep providing our consumers with a reliable source of power,” Anderson says.

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