WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – It started with a frantic phone call from a fire chief, out of personal protective equipment. It prevented a slowdown for employees at Thermaxx Jackets.
“We have a joke at Thermaxx that our owner makes promises and it’s our job to keep those promises. So he called us and said ‘hey, I just promised a fire chief we were going to make him 10 medical gowns,'” says Larry Campana.
That can do attitude says the CFO, got things started with what they had.
He explains, “The same thing we cover our insulation with is silicone. But it was heavy and bulky and no one liked it.”
Four prototypes later, they created a disposable gown, made of house wrap, readily available.
“But it actually makes sense because what we are trying to do is to keep things out, keep out moisture and particles and that’s what you wrap a house in when it’s under construction. You wrap it so things can’t get in,” says Campana.
It is not certified PPE but the next best thing in the middle of a pandemic.
“The CDC says in a crisis situation,” he says, “this type of material is better than nothing basically.”
In a little over a week, they went from 10 gowns to 400 a day, donating to one hundred plus groups — including fire departments, EMS and nursing homes, leaving compelling comments on the company web page.
He shares, “Saying we are out. We are in dire need. Our need is immediate. We will come and pick it up.”
The community is also pitching in, donating house wrap and now other groups are cutting and sewing.
And it all began with a huge heart.
Campana proudly says, “We just have an incredible group of people, that’s doing the right thing. It’s amazing.”
Thermaxx also came up with a DIY guide for others who want to help. So many extending a helping hand, including AAA, who starting Monday will help distribute the disposable gowns.
For more details, click here.