In a joint and integrated effort, which brings together resources, industrial structure and the expertise of several professionals, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is mobilized to implement a broad and consistent support program for ongoing measures at the federal, state and municipal levels to overcome the serious crisis resulting from the spread of COVID-19 (or Coronavirus) in Brazil. This effort is in line with FCA’s global commitment to being a corporate citizen present and active with communities, especially in delicate moments like this.
“Our program is based on a coordinated and multidisciplinary strategy, which ranges from donations to Health authorities to the use of the knowledge and skills of our professionals in areas such as Engineering, Manufacturing, Design, Finance, Purchasing, Logistics and Law to assist in several fronts in combating the effects of the pandemic in Brazil, ”says Antonio Filosa, COO of FCA for Latin America. “We are working in close and highly positive cooperation with all government levels, with the priority of making an effective contribution in areas of greater need. The moment calls for joint efforts, and the FCA insists on being present and active.”
FCA LATAM installed an internal executive committee, led by its COO and with daily meetings, which discusses all opportunities for cooperation and support in combating the pandemic, analyzing operational, compliance and governance aspects – always in line with the public authorities and authorities responsible for the actions to be implemented. Other support measures for Brazil and other countries in the region are under study by FCA and will be communicated in the future.
In addition to the program announced this past week, FCA has encouraged its suppliers and partners to engage in this collective effort and support the expansion of the capacity for medical and hospital care in the various communities. The company is also studying ways to encourage its employees to also participate in this endeavor.
- FCA’s integrated program to support the fight against COVID-19 in Brazil is based on three main fronts:
- Contributions for the installation of field hospitals in Betim (MG) and Goiana (PE);
- Leveraging the company’s expertise and resources to produce and offer highly strategic hospital items at this time.
Donations and leasing of resources and several materials to support the Health area.
In addition to contributions to the installation of field hospitals in the cities where FCA has automotive plants, other highlights from the program are the company’s multidisciplinary action to help increase the supply and production capacity of pulmonary ventilators in Brazil and the production, in Betim, of face masks that will be donated to health professionals nationwide.
The measures implemented by FCA in Brazil are the following:
– Installation of a fully equipped field hospital in Goiana (PE)
FCA is setting up a fully equipped field hospital dedicated to COVID-19 cases in the city of Goiana and surroundings, in Pernambuco state’s Zona da Mata Norte region. The building, constructed by FCA for the installation of a Pernambuco Specialized Care Unit (UPAE), is in the process of being adapted to house 100 beds, three of which as “red room” (for more severe cases, which require stabilization until the displacement to an ICU) and other 97 for other patients. In addition to the beds, ten offices and a screening room are also being prepared to serve the population.
The building also has a nursing station, inhalation room, administration room, bathrooms and changing rooms, material and sterilization center and waiting room. All spaces will be delivered properly equipped and ready for operation.
The schedule foresees the conclusion of the works in the second half of April. The equipped medical center will be handed over to the Government of the State of Pernambuco, which will be in charge of its operation and maintenance. After overcoming the COVID-19 crisis, the hospital will continue to serve the population, under government operation, functioning as an UPAE.
– Assignment of the Fiat Club area to a field hospital in Betim (MG)
Fiat Club, FCA’s recreational and sports area located in Betim, will be partially leased to the Municipality of Betim and the Government of the State of Minas Gerais to house a field hospital for the reception, screening, and hospitalization of COVID-19 patients. Space will account for more than a third of the vacancies created in the municipality to serve new patients of COVID-19.
The area used inside Fiat Club, of approximately 1,500 m², will be turned into a medical center with a capacity for 200 beds installed and maintained by the Municipality of Betim. It will be the gateway to the municipal health system for patients with suspicion of coronavirus infection. The diagnosis, screening, and hospitalization will be made there. Cases requiring additional care will be transferred to other medical centers in the city.
The works to adapt the Fiat Club began last Friday, the 27th, and the field hospital is scheduled to start operating this week.
NATIONAL OFFER OF VENTILATORS:
– Support to increase the productive capacity of ventilators in Brazil
FCA is mobilizing resources, professionals, and expertise to leverage and accelerate the production of pulmonary ventilators in Brazil. The equipment is decisive for the treatment of the most severe cases of COVID-19, as it is used to compensate for patients’ respiratory failure.
Brazil has 65,235 ventilators, 17,837 of them in the private network and 47,398 in the Unified Health System (SUS), according to data from LifesHub Analytics and the Catarinense Medical Association (ACM). The Federal Government plans to acquire an additional 15,000 respirators in the short term, but the installed capacity for producing such equipment in the country, estimated at around 1,000 units per month, is unable to meet emergency demand in a timely manner.
FCA is supporting national equipment manufacturers to identify their needs in the face of the challenge of rapidly increasing production. The identified bottlenecks are being addressed one by one, through:
– A joint effort of FCA’s Purchasing, Logistics and Engineering areas with the manufacturers of this equipment to locate suppliers of parts and components with short-term delivery capacity on the global market;
– Identification of an international strategic partner producing equipment for association with a national company, with the objective of transferring technology and expanding the installed production capacity in Brazil;
– Identification of sources of financing for investment by a national manufacturer, in order to expand its production capacity.
– Participation in SENAI’s task force to repair out-of-service ventilators
FCA is part of the task force created by SENAI (National Service for Industrial Learning) and the Ministry of Economy, in partnership with ten large industries installed in the country, for the immediate repair of inoperative lung ventilators in Brazil. According to data from LifesHub Analytics and ACM, more than 3,600 of these devices are out of operation in Brazil, either because they have been discarded or are in need of maintenance.
Fifteen technicians from FCA and three others from Comau (automation and services company of the group), divided between Minas Gerais and Pernambuco, received training from SENAI and are already qualified to repair out-of-service equipment. The priority of these professionals will be the repair efforts of the approximately 275 inoperative devices located in Pernambuco and Paraíba and of the approximately 335 existing in Minas Gerais. It is estimated that each recovered respirator can serve up to ten people.
Additionally, the Fiat Automotive Pole, in Betim, and the Jeep Automotive Pole, in Goiana, will be points for receiving and maintaining out-of-service ventilators, serving as labor bases and technical resources for the states of Minas Gerais, Pernambuco, and Paraíba.
Ventilators are essential in the treatment of critically ill COVID-19 patients, as the new coronavirus causes severe respiratory failure in patients. The equipment provides a mixture of air and oxygen, administered at an appropriate pressure on a case-by-case basis and at a pace determined by electronic sensors that capture the patient’s respiratory rate.
PRODUCTION AND DONATION OF MEDICAL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT:
– Production of plastic face shields on 3D printers for donation
Also inside the Fiat Automotive Pole, FCA is mobilizing know-how in the areas of Engineering, Design, and Manufacturing for the production of plastic face shields through 3D printing. These PPEs are widely used by healthcare professionals dealing with COVID-19 patients. FCA will manufacture about 2,000 pieces, all of which will be destined for donation to Health services in Minas Gerais and Pernambuco. The first units were produced last week and will be donated in the coming days.
The 3D printers used in the project belong to several different areas within the innovation hub of FCA and were brought together at the World Class Center (WCC), an open innovation space for the development of Industry 4.0 solutions. At the WCC, since last Thursday (26), printers have been working at full speed, under the supervision of a multidisciplinary technical team.
The production of face shields by FCA became possible thanks to the joint action of voluntary groups composed of universities, governments, and companies, which mobilized themselves to urgently increase the offer of these protectors across the country.
MISCELLANEOUS DONATIONS AND LEASING OF VEHICLES
– Donation of protective, sanitizing and sterilizing equipment
FCA, in partnership with suppliers Faurecia, Revestcoat and Prima Sole, companies located within the Supplier Park serving the Jeep Automotive Pole, in Goiana, donated personal protective equipment for use by health professionals on the front lines of the fight against COVID -19 in Pernambuco. 615 safety overalls, 2,500 pairs of nitrile gloves, 10 face shields and a sterilizer with a capacity of 54 liters for the sterilization of materials were delivered to SAMU.
Also in Pernambuco, FCA will donate 30,000 disposable surgical masks and 50 kilos of alcohol gel to the State Health Secretary, in order to assist professionals in the area with materials of high demand and importance at this time.
In Minas Gerais, FCA donated 500 overalls and 2,500 pairs of gloves to the Autonomous Social Service (Servas), which is coordinating the distribution of personal protective equipment to health professionals in the state. These materials would be used in the production line of the Fiat Automotive Pole in Betim but were promptly redirected. With the donation, FCA received from Servas the seal “This company supports the fight against the coronavirus”.
In addition to the contribution to Servas, FCA also donated 30,000 disposable surgical masks and 50 kilos of gel alcohol to the Secretary of Health of the municipality of Belo Horizonte. The material will be used immediately to support the work of City Hall teams that are on the front line to serve the population in the capital of Minas Gerais.
– Vehicles made available to Minas Gerais and Pernambuco authorities
FCA also made 125 vehicles from its fleet available to the State Governments of Pernambuco and Minas Gerais, as well as to the cities of Belo Horizonte and Betim, on a leasing basis. The vehicles were offered to support the various factions of the government in combating the COVID-19 epidemic.
– Funding support for Hospital Mater Dei Betim – Contagem
FCA is part of a partnership led by FIEMG (Federation of Industries of the State of Minas Gerais) with companies based in Minas and the Mater Dei Hospital for the provision of four floors of hospitalization at the Betim – Contagem unit, where a structure for patient care will be set up for COVID-19 patients. Space will have up to 242 beds, with 180 for intensive care and 62 for hospitalization.
In this project, the Mater Dei Network will accountable for offering the structure, including the technological park of diagnostic medicine with X-ray, ultrasound, tomography, magnetic resonance, among other exams, and lead all care management. The Government of Minas Gerais will be responsible for providing assistance and support teams. The financial resources to operate the service will come from a fund with donations from companies located in Minas Gerais.