From the Forest, For the Forest since 1995

Building gurneys as a city prepares for Covid-19


When the city of Ensenada, Baja California requested a proposal from Forever Redwood to construct wooden gurneys for the Covid-19 crisis, Raul Hernandez, Founder and CEO, immediately responded. Forever Redwood manages its forestlands and mill in Northern California, but the woodworking shop has been operating in Ensenada for over 15 years.

“As a true woodworking shop, we are positioned to carry out this project with quality and speed,” Raul said. And time was of the essence. The gurneys are needed for a soon-to-be-completed patient overflow facility. Though wood is not the typical material for these wheeled hospital stretchers, it’s a cost-effective way for Ensenada to quickly provide extra capacity for its healthcare system.

When the city accepted the proposal, the shop floor was reorganized for construction of the stretchers. Raul assembled the minimum number of carpenters needed to meet the city’s timeline, while staying safe. “Everyday we are testing our employees for fever, adhering to social distancing guidelines, handwashing throughout the day. And, of course, wearing facemasks.”

No spec sheet existed, so production foreman, Manuel Valenzuela, was dispatched to an overflow facility being finalized in nearby Tijuana, a gymnasium with 300 wooden gurneys. He took photographs and measurements. Using these, the Engineering Department created a spec sheet with slight modifications. “We felt these adjustments would improve the quality of the finished gurneys,” said Raul.

The result is a simple, solid design: 3ft x 6.5ft, with a backrest adjustable to 45 degrees, 15 degrees, or supine. Cushions will be added after the beds leave the woodworking shop.

Gurneys are adjustable to 45 degrees, 15 degrees, or supine.

Gurneys are adjustable to 45 degrees, 15 degrees, or supine

The gurneys are solid, 100% Douglas-Fir, and weigh 180 lbs. Each is sanded and routered, so it’s splinter-free, and finished with Penofin. Caster wheels that lock and swivel make the gurneys mobile and safe.

Caster wheels that lock and swivel

Caster wheels that lock and swivel

The contract was signed Tuesday, May 5th and construction has proceeded at a brisk pace. Forever Redwood is on track to deliver 40 of the gurneys on Tuesday, May 12th and the remaining 40 on Monday, May 18th.

Like most employers and business owners, Raul looks forward to the day when the woodworking shop is operating at full steam, creating beautiful Redwood shade structures and outdoor furniture; and, more importantly, when the dangers and disruptions of Covid-19 are behind us. But for now, the Forever Redwood team is laser-focused on delivering the city of Ensenada the gurneys needed to care for its citizens.

On track to deliver 80 gurneys by May 18th

On track to deliver 80 gurneys by May 18th

About Us

Forever Redwood custom-crafts the longest-lasting outdoor furniture on the market, using extra-thick lumber from the most decay-resistant natural wood on the planet: California Redwood. That’s why we can offer up to 30-year warranties on our elegant designs.

Choose from a wide selection of pergolas, pavilions, tables, seating, planters, swings, and more. For larger projects, we offer white glove service—from design to installation. We have over 20 years experience and regularly do custom work. If you dream it, we can build it.

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