In response to the urgency of dwindling medical supplies, Elkader, Iowa-based Fire Farm Lighting is contributing its design and manufacturing capacity to help healthcare providers nationwide treat victims of the coronavirus pandemic.
Company founder Adam Jackson Pollock has utilized his design acumen and the production capacity of his factory toward developing solutions that will immediately assist health providers on the front lines of exposure to COVID-19.
The factory is now manufacturing both face shields and intubation enclosures that are available to hopsitals and healthcare professionals who need them.
“We took a look at the current face shields available and the massive need, then fast-prototyped through eight iterative versions in one day to come up with the most production-friendly user-comfortable design we have seen yet,” according to a statement on the company’s website.
The Protective Intubation Enclosures (PIE) were designed, prototyped, hospital-tested, and entered into production within one week. The development was done in partnership with Cope Plastics with review at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City. Pollack’s design is a based on a proposal devised by Dr. Hsien Yung Lai in Taiwan and presents significant modifications and advancements over existing designs available.
Fire Farm’s face shield design eliminates many of the complications of fabrication that hamper the production and distribution of other products. Some of the user benefits are: Full wrap-around protection and its extreme lightweight (less than 100 grams), which makes users feel as if the shield is not even there, eliminating fatigue and strap-pressure that can be experienced by other designs during long work shifts. The open top structure allows air to flow unimpeded, allowing for immediate dissipation of any fogging. The face shield ships flat and is assembled in less than one minute by simply sliding the three pieces together. Once assembled, it is rigid and maintains its three-dimensional form.
According to Andy Schaidler, National Sales Manager for Fire Farm, “We shipped our 300th COVID-19 PIE clear Protective Intubation Enclosures for hospitals on Friday, April 10. [That’s] 300 in our first week of production! Our laser-cutters and our shop crew worked through the Passover and Easter weekend to get another 300 done by Tuesday.”