LIVERPOOL, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Cascade Maverik Lacrosse has made a quick shift from making its world-renowned helmets to producing face shields for health providers and medical professionals across the country in need of additional supplies.
The pivot in business comes in the wake of last week’s mandatory shutdown of non-essential businesses in New York, which closed the Cascade helmet factory.
Cascade Maverik Lacrosse General Manager tells NewsChannel 9, “I think we said, okay, there’s bigger things at play, we need to focus on that. Those of us that could go work from home did, but obviously you can’t build helmets from home so that put a lot of our employees on furlough.”
Repurposing Cascade talents, resources and suppliers took place in under 72 hours. Leading the charge is Sr. Director of R&D, Win Fream and Plant Manager, Dave Christopher.
The company was quickly able to figure out how to use the foams, plastics and straps it uses for helmets to instead use those for the face shields.
A weekend prototype evolved rapidly to a final production model earlier this week.
Ellsworth says, “A company in Liverpool, XTO, run by Keith Krieger, who immediately said we’ll pitch in, dramatically cut the cost. None of us are trying to make money on this we’re all pushing through this at cost to meet the demand.”
The company is now rotating a team of twelve people at a time from its production staff and using proper social distancing at the plant, to turn out thousands of masks per week.
“The opportunity to address a need out there with people on the frontlines, try to keep them safe so ultimately we can get through this together,” Ellsworth says.
Right now he’s trying to respond to over 200 email requests for these face shields and hopes to start with healthcare and medical providers in Central New York and Upstate.
He adds, “As you walk in our mission statement, it begins, ‘ We are American innovators with a passion to protect’. “
Ellsworth says he’s also reached out to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office about these face shields.