A WEYMOUTH engineering firm is supporting the NHS in the fight against coronavirus by helping to make parts for much-needed ventilators which make the difference between life and death for coronavirus patients.

IML Engineering on the Granby Industrial Estate which already specialises in the manufacture of medical equipment, including bedside ventilators, was quick to step up after the UK Government called on manufacturing firms to make as many ventilators as possible, as demand for the lifesaving devices skyrocketed.

It makes components for the vital ilfe-saving equipment.

Around one thousand ventilators and twenty thousand ventilator components are being made at IML Engineering. Director Jerry Way said he and business partner Dave Zollo have a team of twenty employees working around the clock, taking all the recommended precautions – while another Weymouth firm, ETR Metal Finishing, is also involved in the manufacturing process.

"Demand has skyrocketed since the outbreak of Covid-19. We've got a day shift, a night shift we'll be working the weekends, we'll be working whenever we possibly can," Jerry Way said.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a global shortage of ventilators, which are vital to keep patients with severe respiratory symptoms alive by helping them breathe.

As the virus took hold in the UK it quickly become apparent that, like other health services around the world, the NHS would not have enough ventilators. Earlier this month Health Secretary Matt Hancock put out an urgent plea for firms to help.

Jerry Way was quick to make sure credit goes where it is due, thanking employees, the families of all involved; everyone in the supply chain, and all of IML's supporters in Weymouth.

He said: "It's been a tough one I must admit – as soon as the news came out that the country was going on lockdown all of our families naturally wanted us to follow suit.

"We all want to be at home with our families but it's not right to do that because there's people who need ventilators.

"This is a good fight and we need to fight it – our families are behind us one hundred per cent."

"ETR Metal Finishing on the Granby is staying open just for us, which is a fantastic effort because again all they want to do is go home and self-isolate as the Government is telling everyone to do, but we're asking them to stand by us so we can keep going for as long as we possibly can.

"We believe it's the right thing to do and it's saving people's lives."