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COVID-19 Update: ETCP Certified Technicians' Skills Deemed Crucial in Emergency Field Hospitals

As COVID-19 impacts almost every aspect of the entertainment industry, ETCP Certified Technicians, with support of the IATSE (The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees), are stepping up to put their expertise and available equipment to good use.

Michael Barnes, IATSE International vice president and business agent for Local 8 said, "This is spreading way too quickly, and we felt like we have to do something to help. If you are helping you can't feel helpless, and that is not where we want to be. IATSE Locals across the country are contacting governors state-by-state to offer their expertise in the installation of temporary structures to assist in the development of emergency field hospitals for COVID-19."

Barnes continued, "I sincerely believe the model that is traditionally deployed in situations like this can be drastically improved upon. Implementing the use of rigging and lighting techniques we use every day to create temporary structures will result in a safer and more productive environment. The pre-engineered truss that we install for any temporary arena or outdoor stage allows much more flexibility; with the touch of a button, we can give health care personnel exactly what they need to operate most efficiently. No one is better prepared to solve a dilemma creatively than an entertainment industry professional. ETCP Certified technicians are very well-versed in setting up large volumes of equipment for touring shows in under 12 hours. The fact that we can use our skills to help save lives in a time of crisis boosts the morale IATSE Locals across North America. If we can spread the word that this is a possibility, our hope is that technicians in other communities will have the same opportunity."

ETCP Recognized Employer, Proof Productions, LLC; is taking the lead in adapting the formula designed by the Army Corps of Engineers to provide the health-care workers a more dynamic space. Because of the industry-wide shut down, we have both a skilled workforce and equipment available. As soon as the plan is in place, the equipment will be power washed, sanitized, shrink-wrapped, and delivered to the available locations to begin the installation.

The conventional ways of field hospital implementation are, by design, static. Entertainment technicians solve problems for a living, and their ingenuity will create ways for the health workers to transform the space based on an evolving needs basis. "Usually, when remote locations like this are set up, the lights are either on or they are off. A programmable intelligent lighting console with DMX allows maximum flexible within the space. For instance, should brighter lights become necessary in triage, but dimmer lights are needed in the patient area because it allows them to rest more easily while they recover, we can make this happen with the touch of a button," said Stephen McEntee, owner of Proof Productions. Perhaps one of the most exciting innovations allows Go-Pros with live feeds to be installed in grid with cameras that can keep eyes on multiple patients and areas of the space at once, which provides an extra layer of security as well providing health workers with the ability to monitor a greater number of patients if need be. These creative minds have only begun to explore how the industry's methods could be adapted to help in the fight.

IATSE International Coronavirus Update Portal at iatsecares.org/resources/: up-to-date guidance as provided by the CDC, World Health Organization, Center for Disease Control and the Health Agency of Canada.

ETCP Recognized Employers Searchable Database at etcp.esta.org/findrecognized/search.php: over 220 companies participate in our Recognized Employer, Labor Provider and Contractor Program.

FIND ETCP Certified Technicians at etcp.esta.org/findtechnicians/search.php: Complete list of ETCP Certified Riggers, Entertainment Electricians, and Portable Power Distribution Technicians.


(6 April 2020)

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