By Ann Craig-Cinnamon
As stories about Ebola continue to dominate the news, a company in Fishers is quietly doing its part to help contain the spread of the virus.
DQE, which is located at 9910 North by Northeast Blvd. in Fishers, has been in business for more than 20 years. The company provides products for emergency responders, health care and government agencies. Those products include decontamination shower systems, personal protective gear and other response products, according to DQE President Tony Baumgartner.
In the case of Ebola, he said DQE provides personal protection garments such as suits, gloves, boots and ensembles related to protecting an individual from an infectious scenario. He added that DQE is the only company in the area that provides such a diversity of products and services. “About 20 percent of our revenue comes from providing consulting services to hospitals on disaster and emergency preparedness protocol,” Baumgartner said.
He said that they sell products to hospitals all over the country and that all hospitals in the Indianapolis area have been purchasing products from his company in recent weeks. DQE has doubled its workforce to 20 full-time employees to keep up with the demand.
“It hasn’t been this big of a surge in business since the weeks immediately following 9-11. I think sales are up 10-fold, 20-fold over last year,” said Baumgartner.
DQE has also shipped products to West Africa, but its current business is with hospitals in the United States that are getting prepared. “Hospitals now are polishing up on their protocols,” Baumgartner said. “They are training additional staff on how to utilize PPE, which is the protective garments, and making sure that they have enough supplies on hand.”
Having been involved for so many years with hospitals and health care-related products, Baumgartner is very upbeat about the U.S. fighting an Ebola epidemic here.
“The public health resiliency in this country is quite robust,” he said. “They are improving all the time and like any large organization, in a large country like the United States, we learn each day how to improve things. I think that this was a wake-up call and I think we’re finding that there’s improvement that can be made at the institutional hospital level. And I think on the federal level some of the major agencies involved in this are better understanding how information can be packaged and dispensed out on the local level.
“But make no mistake, there is no reason for panic here. This is a nation that is quite resilient from a public health standpoint and this is well within our capability to handle.”