David Ascalon’s Ascalon Studios is a West Berlin (Camden County), New Jersey-based art and design facility that, for three generations, has specialized in the creation of large-scale site-specific artwork, stained glass windows, and design elements for public spaces and worship environments throughout North America. Seth Pearlman’s Pearlman Design is a Voorhees-based (Camden County) home remodeling and renovation company that has served Southern New Jersey for two decades.
Seth was recently contacted by a physician friend, associated with the New Jersey’s Virtua Hospital network, to see if he had the ability to fabricate a new kind of protective equipment. The novel devise, being referred to as the COVID-19 Intubation Safety Box, is an acrylic cube-shaped form that is positioned over an infected patient’s head and upper torso. When the patient needs to be intubated, gasket-sealed ovular holes allow doctors, nurses, and first responders to undertake intubation while minimizing the risk that droplets from the patient’s lungs infect medical personnel.
David’s son Eric learned of Seth’s efforts to fundraise for materials, and initiated a conversation between Seth, David, and Ascalon Studio’s chief fabricator, Robert Loch. They collectively determined that they had the ability to rapidly retool the Ascalon facility in order to crank out a considerable volume of these units. This would increase the production considerably from what Seth was capable of producing at his home-based workshop. None involved are doing this for profit, but rather the units will be donated to hospitals throughout the region and beyond on a first-come-first-served basis, to the extent production allows.
The 75-year-old Ascalon, from Cherry Hill, temporarily closed the doors to his studio two weeks ago to abide NJ Governor Murphy’s lockdown order. Ascalon, not being one to spend his days sitting on the couch and twiddling his thumbs in quarantine, contemplated how he could assist in the efforts to combat COVID-19. “While we have the ability to produce a versatile array of items at Ascalon Studios, we are relatively low-tech and not involved in fabric manufacturing, so ventilators and respirators were not in the realm of possibility; but I knew I had to do something to help the cause against the virus”. David’s son Eric, the day before, had a conversation with his high school-aged son about the role of American peacetime manufactures in rapidly retooling to help win World War II. So when Eric learned of Seth's efforts, he saw collaboration between his father and Pearlman as the perfect opportunity to allow his father to fulfill his altruistic instincts; as well as an opportunity for Seth to maximize production. To date, hospitals in the region have already ordered 72 reusable units, a figure which is growing hourly.
To fulfill the orders, local material suppliers, including Lowe’s in Voorhees and Northeast Plastics in Bensalem, PA, have donated material and have offered additional materials at cost; and Williamstown-based CadPro is providing free fabrication support. More donations of materials are needed to fulfill the growing demand (contact email@example.com for material donations). Additionally, individuals are asked to donate funds necessary to acquire additional materials for the endeavor. In just a couple days, over $9,000 in funds has already been raised, but more is needed to meet the high demand. Persons wishing to donate can visit Seth’s Facebook fundraising page below, which can also be accessed via either the Pearlman Design or Ascalon Studios Facebook page: