Mt. San Antonio College has volunteered to provide classroom ventilators from its respiratory therapy department in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, a professor said Friday.

“We have to let them go,” said James Hutchinson, who teaches at the Walnut campus. “I hear the numbers. I can see that we’re going to need all the ventilators possible. (Ventilators) in the classroom are not going do any people any good.”

He said that the five ventilators — roughly half the supply in the college’s respiratory therapy program — will be picked up by Monday and taken to a large biomedical facility that will check to ensure they are operational before being sent to hospitals within California.

“Where they will go is unknown. There’s no guarantee of their return,” Hutchinson said, noting that the decision to allow the ventilators to be moved off campus was approved by the college’s dean and vice president of instruction and that the college was “behind it 100 percent.”

“We’re going to go on faith on this one,” the professor said. “If they come back, it’ll be great because we won’t have to find new funding for ventilators.”

The program’s remaining ventilators will stay at the college for now and could be provided later to hospitals in Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties. The professor said he was confident the second group of ventilators would be returned after the crisis abates.

Meanwhile, Hutchinson said he delivered six laryngoscopes — still in their packaging and a necessary tool in putting a patient on a ventilator — from the campus Friday to Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena.

“Darker days are ahead of us,” he said, adding he felt he “really needed to help.”

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