A team of film and television set builders are using their carpentry skills to build life-saving equipment for struggling hospitals.
Greenpoint set builder Bret Lehne learned about the need for intubation boxes — plexiglass containers that keep doctors safe during the most dangerous moments of operation — when a doctor friend contacted him a week into the pandemic asking if he knew anyone who could make them. After reviewing the schematics, Lehne came to a realization.
“This, both in material and in complexity, is an average blueprint that I might get in a workday,” he said to himself. “I know an entire industry that can build these.”
With set workshops empty due to social distancing guidelines, Lehne first had to search for a space that would allow him and a team of volunteers to work there for free, eventually landing on the training workshop of the IATSE Local 52 Studio Mechanics Union in Queens.