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Daniels Wood Land retools, calls employees back to work, makes personal protection equipment 

Level 1 PPE gown production at Daniels Wood Land.

–When California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered non-essential businesses to close on March 19, Daniels Wood Land of Paso Robles laid off 50 of its 55 employees, but a strong sense of community service and creativity brought everyone back to work. “Sheltering at home when so much is at stake was not in our nature,” said company president Ron Daniels. “We wanted to join the worldwide fight to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Daniels and staff members contacted local city officials and emergency responders and asked how they could help. Paso Robles City Fire Marshall Randy Harris, told them about the critical nationwide need for personal protection equipment (PPE), including non-sterilized first responder gowns. Fire Marshall Harris helped the company brainstorm the idea and develop the prototype.

“We had just moved into a new 37,000 square foot factory and had over 50 employees at our disposal. Our team of problem solvers went to work and 24 hours later, on March 20, we presented the first dozen prototypes of our disposable first responder gowns,” said Daniels. “We called all of our employees back to work.”

The Level 1 protection gowns are going to paramedics, county health agencies, fire departments, rest homes, and any other frontline operation that needs them.

So far, the company has produced 150,000 gowns and has the capacity to make 60,000 per day. “We ship locally and all over the country and have confirmed orders for over 1 million gowns that will be delivered this month,” said Daniels.

Timothy Benes, Operations Manager for Cambria Community Healthcare District, said the district ordered 600 gowns from Daniels Wood Land. “We found the gowns to be solidly made and quite strong. The gowns fit everyone very well and comfortably, including one of our staff who is over 6-feet tall.”

Benes said he is very impressed with the quality of the gowns. They meet minimum standards and the quality is better than many gowns from other manufacturers. “One of the best features is a grommet, or hole, in the sleeves, that the wearer’s thumb fits through. This makes it possible for the wearer to quickly change gloves while the sleeves stay in place.”

“Many people have asked me how we came up with this idea,” Daniels said. “Just as many have asked how we put it into motion so fast. My answer is this: We built a business doing things we’ve never done before. We never made a replica of Disney’s Black Pearl Pirate ship, until we did it. We never made a giant Eddie Murphy head until we did that (Google it! It’s really cool!). We never made an X-Wing Fighter Simulator until we did that too. And until now, we’ve never made a million Level 1 protection gowns for first responders. Here’s our secret: You know how Walt Disney had his team of Imagineers? Well… Daniels Wood Land has its team of figure-outers!”

Daniels Wood Land is a full-service theming company that has been building cool things for the amusement park industry for over 20 years. The company creates whimsical tree houses, unique playgrounds, interactive themed electronic shooting galleries and themed displays and props for theme parks, fairgrounds, film and television studios and other locations. Clients include The Walt Disney Company, Merlin Entertainments, Universal, Sony Pictures, Fox Home Entertainment, Electronic Arts, New Line Cinema, Warner Home Video, and ABC.

In March, the company’s production of the gowns was featured in the news for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). The IAAPA is the international trade association for amusement and theme parks, museums and science centers, zoos and aquariums and a variety of other permanently sited entertainment centers, including casinos and water parks.

First responder agencies, medical facilities, and other frontline operations can order gowns by contacting the sales department at sales@danielswoodland.com or call (805) 239-2832. Daniels Wood Land is located at 2125 Ardmore Road, Paso Robles CA, 93446.



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About the author: Reporter Jackie Iddings

Jackie Iddings is a contributing reporter and photographer for the Paso Robles Daily News.