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Michigan landscaping company pitches in for health care system

May 26, 2020 -  By
D&B Landscaping helped construct a field hospital at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital in Michigan. (Photo D&B Landscaping)

D&B Landscaping helped construct a field hospital at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital in Michigan. (Photo D&B Landscaping)

For D&B Landscaping, COVID-19 became personal because the Henry Ford Health System is a major client of the company, whose headquarters are in Livonia, Mich., a large western suburb of Detroit.

“You have to consider that customer as part of your family,” says Dan Bywalec, president of D&B Landscaping. “What would you do if that was your family — how would you help them out?”

D&B Landscaping performs design and build services for a completely residential clientele and provides horticultural and snow removal services for a 90 percent commercial and 10 percent residential clientele.

When an executive order from Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer deemed landscaping companies as nonessential, D&B Landscaping played a key role for the hospital system in unexpected ways. It started with pitching in by driving a truck to pick up critical medical supplies that were in limited supply.

“(It was a situation) you have to be here by 11 o’clock because if you’re not, it’s going to go to someone else,” Bywalec says. “We were happy to be able to help them out for a couple of weeks of guys going and doing this and doing that.”

The company also helped by constructing tents for a field hospital at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital. Henry Ford rented the tents and D&B Landscaping took care of everything else to get a fully functional facility ready.

The company also set up a white ribbon banner at the Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital. White ribbons are the health system's symbol to recognize COVID-19 health workers. (Photo: D&B Landscaping)

The company also set up a white ribbon banner at the Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital. White ribbons are the health system’s symbol to recognize COVID-19 health workers. (Photo: D&B Landscaping)

“When you erect a tent like this, you need to have cement blocks, in case wind gusts and storms blow through,” he says. “We had to bring in gravel and grade it all off in order to be able to utilize this tent. Auxiliary lighting needed to be set up all around. A diesel generator. It’s almost reminds me of a MASH unit. That’s kind of how this tent was — a makeshift field hospital. It was remarkable to be able to set this tent up and have it available”

The team at D&B Landscaping also helped erect a large white ribbon for display at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital. A 1,000-watt LED bulb shone on the ribbon at night.

(White ribbons are Henry Ford Health System’s symbol of gratitude for frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The banner was so popular that D&B Landscaping, with the help of a friend of Bywalec in the sign business, put up banners at the main Henry Ford campus in Detroit as well as signs at the entrance to the hospital on West Grand Boulevard.

“It was really a complete team effort. We were happy to be able to do just a little bit to improve the attitude and feelings of the people working,” he says. “It was good to give a little love back to what they were doing and how they sacrifice. It was something that I’ve never encountered.”

The banner lit up at night. (Photo: D&B Landscaping)

The banner lit up at night. (Photo: D&B Landscaping)

Now that D&B Landscaping is back to work, Bywalec says it’s been difficult for his company to locate things necessary to keep his worker safe such as personal protective equipment. Hand sanitizer comes from a local distillery. Employees spray trucks and turf equipment with a germicide every morning before heading out. Bywalec says employees must wash clothes daily to cut down on any contamination.

“The last thing you do is you want to have a COVID-19 outbreak in your company,” he says.

Overall, Bywalec is thankful for his company to be able to help out a client in their time of need.

“It was special for us to be able to do that,” he says. “This is all part of being part of the family. Our customer, especially a customer we’ve had for more than 25 years, they’re like family. I know so many people within that organization.”

This article is tagged with , , and posted in COVID-19, Today's Green Industry News
Christina Herrick

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