Thrums Man Helps Create New Portable Ventilator

covid 19

“Sure I can do that,” is what 87-year-old Peter Brockley of Thrums said with a chuckle when asked if he could build a prototype of a small ventilator based on plans from a mechanical engineer.

The designer knows Brockley’s son who is a doctor on Vancouver Island and the hand-held, battery operated devise would essentially be a high-tech, computer driven oxygen bag that works continuously according to the accomplished tradesman.

“This machine when it’s all finished will squeeze the bag, it’s meant to do it 24/7, it’s computer controlled and I have nothing to do with the computer part, I’m a machinist, I’m just doing the hard stuff,” said Brockley.

Brockley became an apprentice machinist in 1948 and said he had to draw on his over 70-years of experience to complete his part of the project because of the extremely detailed work involved.

“It was very precise, and I had a lot of trouble getting everything done correctly,” said the retired machinist who persevered. “I had to haul back on past precision jobs I’ve had to do.”     

The devise has been sent to the designer to complete the computer work and Brockley remained humble about his contribution saying he isn’t the only person helping make new ventilators and this one will be inexpensive.

“This is quite a small item you can carry in your hand and probably cost maybe 200-to-300-dollars to make it as opposed to the 50-thousand it costs to get the regular hospital model,” said Brockley.

The resident who lives near the Glade general store who pointed out his granddaughter has grandchildren looked ahead to his next job.

“I have to put my tools away, it could take me a couple of days.”