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Turlock glass company reinvents itself to make protective boxes for local hospital

Patrick Jensen had only ever used his skills to make these boxes once or twice in his 35-year career, but, when the hospital came asking, he and his crew stepped up.

TURLOCK, Calif. — Patrick Jensen and his crew didn't expect themselves to be playing such a big role in the coronavirus fight, but, when their local hospital came to them for help, there was no chance he'd turn them down.

"Even my crew said they wouldn't have it any other way," said Jensen, head of Paul's Glass Co. in Turlock. 

Jensen and his crew helped create a total of eight polycarbonate intubation boxes for Emanuel Medical Center [EMC], all of which are custom designed to protect physicians from droplet and airborne exposure during the coronavirus pandemic.

The idea came after one of the hospital's anesthesiologists got a photo of a similar box in New York. From there, the hospital's operations team worked with doctors to design the boxes.

Jensen said he got a call from the hospital last week asking about plexiglass availability. He says it was out of the norm call for the hospital, and, after some digging, he learned that they were trying to make intubation boxes.

Credit: Patrick Jensen
Patrick Jensen works on a custom intubation box for Emanuel Medical Center

"If anybody else was to call me and ask if we make polycarbonate boxes, such as to house autographed footballs or jerseys, the answer would be 'no.' That's just not what we do," said Jensen. 

However, the coronavirus doesn't reflect normal times, and Jensen and his crew stepped in immediately, working with the hospital and adjusting the designs.

"Paul's Glass Co. helped our team bring this to life and responded very quickly to our request. We are so grateful for community support during times like these," said Lani Dickinson, EMC CEO.

It takes Jensen and his crew about one hour to make each custom box. With a 35-year career in the business, he always had the skill to make these boxes, but he always shied away from it.

"The only reason I'm doing it is because it saves lives," said Jensen.

With most of his workers sent home during the pandemic, he had small crew working on the first batch of boxes this past week. As of Wednesday, they have delivered eight boxes. 

"Whatever it takes to get over this, we all have to chip in. I’m not a big guy. I’m just a little guy, but I can surely do whatever I can," Jensen said. 

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