CHELMSFORD, MASS. (WHDH) - Hospital staff and healthcare workers are making an urgent plea for equipment as they continue to fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Not only is this equipment needed to protect themselves but also to keep up with the demand of treating patients.

When a patient becomes seriously ill and hospitalized with COVID-19, there is a good chance they are suffering from respiratory issues.

Hospitals are dependent on ventilators to give these critical patients air when their lungs cannot — however, there is a shortage of the life-saving machines

That is where Zoll Medical Incorporated, a manufacturing company in Chelmsford is stepping in and stepping up to help with this big need.

Zoll Medical makes small portable ventilators and the company’s CEO Jon Rennert said they have received quadruple the number of orders over the last few weeks as they typically receive in a year.

“The federal government is going to be procuring a large stock of ventilators as they go through their stockpile. We are also seeing commercial customers – like hospitals – looking for these sort of ventilators,”  Rennert explained.

Zoll is now shifting its focus onto creating more ventilators and fast.

“We are transferring workers from other products to ventilator production, we’re creating new assembly lines within our facility,” Rennert said. “Our production value from 100 a week historically to 2400 a week is our immediate goal for the immediate demand.”

These locally produced ventilators will likely help patients not just here in Massachusetts but nationally and even internationally.

“Our people are proud to step up at the time of need,” Rennert said.

And he confirmed that despite the higher demand, his employees are practicing safe social distancing.

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