CEO of Trusscore and Sault Ste. Dave Caputo, a native of Marie, was on videoconference Tuesday morning when all of his messaging services and social media accounts started to explode.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used his daily COVID-19 address from Rideau Cottage to congratulate Caputo and his team on the reallocation of their sustainable building materials plant in Palmerston, Ontario. to build TempWall, a modular temporary wall system that is used to divide spaces in hospitals and healthcare facilities.
“With growing concerns about COVID-19, Dave asked his team how they could reuse their building materials plant to make products that hospitals needed,” said Trudeau. “A few days later, they had four prototypes developed.”
Caputo says that Trusscore’s idea for TempWall started at an executive meeting a few weeks ago to plan an internal response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We decided to turn the question around and say,” is there anything we can do to help? “And it turns out that we have the world’s largest 3D printers called extrusion lines, and we used to create an African Swine Flu panel for pig farmers,” he told SooToday. “We thought if we put a bunch together and build a wall?” “
Trusscore then studied antimicrobials to make its modular hospital-grade wall system for use during the current pandemic.
“Maybe people need a lot more isolation these days in this pandemic. You wouldn’t want to sit there with your child with a broken arm next to someone who is coughing, “said Caputo. “We thought there might be a product idea here that could help in this pandemic. “
Caputo thanks Dr. Jay Green, Chief of Emergency Medicine at Grand River Hospital and St. Mary’s General Hospital in Kitchener, for providing comments to Trusscore after the company donated 10 walls at Dr. Green’s two hospitals.
“If it weren’t for them to give us feedback to say that these are valued, we wouldn’t have made this product, so I want to pay tribute to Dr. Jay Green for helping to co-invent this, if you want, “said Caputo. “We started calling other hospitals and we had similar reactions, then suddenly our Prime Minister … made that call, which I am incredibly humiliated. “
“Our phones, our website, our social media have exploded with the people who are looking for it, and now we are literally filling truckloads as quickly as possible and shipping them where people need them. “
Trusscore is now busy producing TempWall for more than 10 hospitals and health care centers in southern Ontario, Manitoba and Quebec. Currently, the company can produce approximately 400 hospital-grade temporary walls every day, with a team of eight to ten people working around the clock.
“We’re just building them, whether we get orders or not, just so we’re ready to respond – and we build them 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Caputo.
For Caputo – son of Nick and Pina Caputo, a graduate of Bawating High School and passionate about Soo Greyhounds – the reorientation of Trusscore in the fight against COVID-19 was a rewarding experience for himself and his start-up.
“I’m so thankful that we can do a little bit to help contain this. My feeling is that there would have been growing frustration – where I’m sure there are a lot of businesses – that we’re going to have to close or close for a little while, “he said. “But the idea that you could make a difference here, I think, is very motivating for a lot of people – rather than being stuck at home, you could be doing something that helps contain the spread of this and hopefully help it flatten the curve. “