Rethinking Purpose: How AFL Partner JMA Wireless Responded to COVID-19

By Corie Culp, AFL's Community and Public Relations Manager

Since its inception, JMA Wireless, an OEM partner of AFL Optical Telecom, has focused its efforts on producing the world’s only 100% U.S. designed, developed and manufactured wireless solutions, including 4G and 5G. But with the advent of COVID-19, its purpose changed…from manufacturing wireless solutions to manufacturing people solutions.

As COVID-19 weakened the medical system, everyday items typically in abundance were suddenly in short supply. Face masks, N-95 mask, surgical masks, not to mention disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and ventilators.

JMA Wireless, with operations in New York and Italy, two of the hardest hit places by COVID-19, questioned how they could support their community. With this heightened awareness in their backyard, Dave Jackson, president of transmission line systems at JMA, gathered his team and refocused their engineering and manufacturing expertise.

Within two weeks the team had designed a mechanical ventilator, aptly named PREVAIL NY, the acronym for Pandemic Response Emergency Ventilation Assembled In Liverpool, New York (home of JMA’s plant). The team found an answer to the growing shortage and call for additional ventilators.
Production costs were minimal, estimated at less than $500. CEO John Mezzalingua stated that not only could they manufacture them in New York, but the devices could also be built at their facility in Bologna, Italy, for local needs.

Rethinking purpose. What has been in most of our lifetimes an unprecedented event has brought out the best in people. Ingenuity, teamwork, collaboration and innovation.

PREVAIL NY has been supported by physician John Callahan and Syracuse University, and JMA has submitted the design to the FDA for “emergency use authorization.” What’s more? The design is open-sourced so that other manufacturers can access it at no charge.

Have capacity? Access the PREVAIL NY design here.