NewsLocal NewsFlathead County


Kalispell Army Sergeant makes N95 masks for healthcare workers

Screen Shot 2020-04-24 at 4.49.28 PM.png
Posted at 5:06 PM, Apr 24, 2020

KALISPELL — Sergeant Justin Zehren, an army recruiter assigned in Kalispell has been helping front line healthcare workers in a big way.

Sergeant Zehren is using his personal 3D printer to print out N95 masks, and deliver them to professional healthcare workers on a weekly basis.

Every N95 mask that Zehren makes can be cut up and used six different times, helping save valuable supplies for health care workers.

“It saves masks and it allows the healthcare workers to actually swap out the filters throughout the day, which is definitely safer than using the same mask for a 12-hour shift,” said Zehren.

Sergeant Zehren drops off a new shipment of masks every Friday at Kalispell Regional Medical Center. He also ships masks to fellow Army healthcare workers in Georgia, Florida and North Carolina.

He said the feeling of joy he gets when dropping off masks, makes all the hard work worthwhile.

“Once you drop them off and you pull away it’s like yeah, that was definitely rewarding, definitely worth the hours of waking up at 2 a.m. to start another print so that you can try to print as much as possible throughout the day," said Zehren.

Sergeant Zehren said each supply of masks take roughly 4-5 hours to print.

He said he will continue making masks for the foreseeable future, helping healthcare workers in the fight against Covid-19.

“Maybe this is a new norm? definitely willing to do it as long as they need me to do it,” said Zehren.

Along with N95 masks, Sergeant Zehren also makes hundreds of stretch relief straps, helping relieve tension for healthcare workers wearing masks for hours on end.