The continued rise of COVID-19 cases in New York has created an immediate need to increase hospital capacity. To help meet the demand of increasing intensive care beds to 37,000 by the end of April and increase general hospital bed capacity by 50%, the Army Corps of Engineers has been tasked with building eight temporary hospitals throughout the state.
One of these temporary hospitals is a facility on the SUNY Stony Brook Campus on Long Island. It can hold up to 1,000 patients — and while it's originally intended for non-COVID patients, it may be repurposed to treat localized COVID-19 cases as they increase.
Gathering all the resources
Under normal circumstances, building a full-service hospital with advanced ICU facilities can easily take a couple of years. To speed up this timeline significantly, a hospital project management team from the Army Corps of Engineers quickly assessed what critical components were immediately needed. Construction began around March 31, 2020 with a completion date of April 18, 2020.
Using a preferred vendor list, the team contacted multiple major construction equipment manufacturers, which led them to Clarke Fire Protection Products. Clarke manufactures diesel fire pump drivers for buildings all over the world.
The fire pump driver provides water flow to sprinkler systems, ensuring fire safety for the temporary hospital.
Preparing the pump unit
Clarke Fire's order processing group received the order on April 2, 2020. Yet the engine software needed to be reconfigured for the application, which impacted the potential delivery date.
Clarke has been a John Deere engine customer for more than 20 years. When Ben Monat, senior field representative at John Deere, discovered the need, he worked additional hours to ensure an on-time delivery.
"I worked until the job was done," says Monat. "People in New York are depending on that hospital, and I was not about to sit idle as we were running up against a deadline."
Ensuring fire safety for our communities
Because of these efforts from Clarke and John Deere — and their combined diligence to respond to real-time needs — the engine was shipped in only four days. This was three days ahead of the normal schedule and weeks ahead of a standard four-week lead time.
"Our production team understood the urgency and importance of getting this unit done early," says Zach Marlow, Clarke's production manager. "Each production step was eagerly waiting to do their part to make the early shipping goal happen."
"These are challenging times, so when our team discovered we'd be part of a solution that can change things for people, that instilled a sense of pride in all of us," says Justin Strousse, director of global sales at Clarke Fire Protection Products.
With these efforts from Clarke and John Deere, the pump unit arrived at its destination on time. The temporary hospital site in Stony Brook has since opened, providing the care that's needed to New York residents with the appropriate fire protection.
Each production step was eagerly waiting to do their part to make the early shipping goal happen.