Retired LFR Chief and daughter making COVID-19 protective gear

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - As the coronavirus pandemic continues, people are finding ways to help out.

(Source: KOLN).

Now, a retired fire chief, who served our community for decades, is teaming up with his daughter to make special protective gear.

For more than 22 years working for Lincoln Fire and Rescue, former Battalion Chief Leo Benes, has dedicated his life to helping and protecting people. Now that he's retired, that looks a little different.

Instead of fighting fires, he's trying to help fight COVID-19, and is teaming up with his daughter Hillary, who is a nurse. The pair decided to make two things, an anesthesia hood, and a sneeze guard.

"It's just a matter of, wanting to take care of my family and wanting to help the whole community, as I said, if we can help one person stop the transmission, it has been well worth it. And keep those medical providers working,” said Benes.

The sneeze guard, is a layer of acrylic that is made for receptionists, etc. to provide a layer of protection between them and customers or patients.

"We've literally been working for the last eight days for about 14 hours a day, on these projects,” said Benes.

The hood, made out of acrylic, had two holes for the medical provider to put their arms through when working on a patient, providing a layer of protection.

"The feedback so far has been outstanding, the hoods we're using for incubation, I'm aware they've already been used twice in real life situations with real life patients,” said Benes.

So far they've made over 20 and they're now at three local hospitals, surgery centers, and the Pieloch Pet Adoption Center, to name a few. Benes says they'll make them as long as they are needed and they can get the materials.

"If I can put something between you and I, to protect you and to protect me, then we've done our job. And I think that's important,” said Benes.

If you’re interested in contacting Benes about the protective equipment, email him at