Support from every angle - by Steven King

June 12, 2020 - Rhode Island
Steven King

As the state continues to navigate the economic and social challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting the community has become more important than ever. Across the Business Park, Quonset companies are stepping up in creative ways to provide critical services and supplies to the people and organizations most impacted by the crisis.  

Quonset company Falvey Insurance Group is using its philanthropic fund to empower employees and support a wide variety of causes across the state. Their “We Give A FIG” campaign supports local charities related to the environment, children, animals and those generally in need. So far the campaign has donated $30,000 to several causes including $4,000 to start a Rhode Island chapter of Frontline Foods. 

Frontline Foods, a national organization, supports both healthcare professionals and local restaurants by using donations to purchase meals from local restaurants for nurses and doctors. The effort provides comfort and support to those on the frontlines while also stimulating local economies. Frontline Foods Rhode Island’s first meal donation was sponsored by Central Falls native Viola Davis and the cast of the hit show “How to Get Away With Murder.” 

Members of the Falvey team are leading the effort to look for individual donors, corporate sponsorships and local restaurants that are interested in participating.

Photo credit: Bill Murphy of Lifespan

Across the park, companies are also stepping up to help meet the need for PPE. Ocean State Job Lot is working with the governor’s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) taskforce, industry associations, and local chambers of commerce to distribute over 500,000 free masks and disinfectant to small businesses. Pyramid Case Co. is also distributing cloth and surgical masks made at their new location at 51 Circuit Dr.

Quonset’s manufacturing sector is also supporting the efforts. SuBSAlve USA is putting its manufacturing expertise to good use by partnering with Lombardi Undersea, a Middletown diving contractor, to produce oxygen treatment hoods. The hoods, commonly used to treat decompression sickness, may soon provide a proactive treatment for acute respiratory distress syndrome - a condition causing many COVID-19 patients to require ventilators.

Leveraging over 40 years of experience, SuBSAlve USA and Lombardi Undersea produced a functional prototype in one week, sending several dozen sample units to key U.S. physicians for evaluation. The company has since shipped over 2,000 hoods and continues to work to produce additional units.

Edesia, a manufacturer of peanut-based emergency nutritional food at the Business Park, is well versed in the complexity of delivery logistics in emergency situations. They have turned their attention to manufacturing N95 masks and are currently serving as a critical supplier of PPE in Rhode Island.

After leading governor Raimondo’s PPE task force full-time for the past two and a half months, it is gratifying for me to see Quonset companies contributing in our country’s time of need to provide critical supplies and services. Their actions speak to the strength and commitment of the Quonset community. The state’s recovery from this pandemic will require the collaboration of organizations in every sector of the economy. Quonset and its businesses are proud to support these efforts.

Steven King, PE, is the managing director of the Quonset Development Corp., North Kingstown, R.I.

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