coronavirus

‘It Feels Great’: Hockey Equipment Maker Switches to Protective Gear for Health Workers

Bauer, a hockey equipment company based in New Hampshire, is now helping protect doctors and nurses dealing with the coronavirus pandemic

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New Hampshire-based sporting goods company Bauer, known for its hockey skates and helmets, is now producing face masks for doctors and nurses on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

Win Fream of Newfields, New Hampshire, is the head of research and development at Bauer's sister company, Cascade, which produces lacrosse helmets.

After assembly line workers for Bauer and Cascade were sent home amid coronavirus closures, Fream started brainstorming.

"We can do this," he said. "This was totally in our wheelhouse, totally in our DNA."

So, with the sports world on hold, the companies shifted gears from protecting athletes to protecting medical professionals.

"This is a whole other level that we're playing on, a whole different field, per se, and it feels great," Fream said.

They're producing about 6,000 face shields a day, but that's still not nearly enough to meet demand.

"Some people have called up asking for 50,000 of these," he explained.

During an interview Friday, a worried husband stopped by Bauer headquarters in Exeter, hoping to get hold of some shields to protect his wife. He told Fream that she and her colleagues are running low on personal protective gear at a nearby hospital.

"I don't have many," Fream said with disappointment.

He gave the man the one box he had and promised to follow up with more.

"Thank you so much," the man said.

"That's the humbling part," Fream said. "It's a great idea, but we need more people helping."

So Bauer and Cascade are sharing their design with other manufacturing companies in an effort to ramp up production, saying right now, everyone is on the same team.

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