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January 2021

Dennis Berberich (left) and Peter Cantone

Westchester Entrepreneurs Launch Company to Battle COVID-19

On March 1, 2020, the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in New Rochelle. At that time Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered a containment zone around a synagogue that became the first epicenter of COVID-19 in the Eastern United States.


Peter Cantone a businessman and entrepreneur from New Rochelle saw what was happening.


“I knew I could find a better way to fight the pandemic, protect people and save the economy of Westchester and beyond,” said Cantone.


To achieve this goal Cantone and business partners and Pelham residents Dennis Berberich who serves as Executive Vice-President and Philip Paterra, officially launched Pandemic Solutions (www.pandemicsolutions.net) in May of 2020.


Using his experience and knowledge from owning a spray foam insulation and equipment supply business Cantone searched for the right equipment. He was familiar with many spraying devices and equipment and he knew that there was safer and smarter way to quickly disperse disinfectants. Unfortunately, in March and April, such spraying equipment was not readily available in the USA. New equipment from abroad would take months if not longer to arrive because of the pandemic’s impact on supply chains.


Cantone, Berberich and Paterra looked for a domestic solution. They connected with a colleague in Alabama who introduced them to a company with a solution in development.


To combat COVID-19 the Federal Government was communicating with manufacturing companies that could assist.  Among those solicited was VSE an Alabama company internationally renowned for its state-of-the-art theatrical effects. The company’s equipment produces fine mist “fog” and “smoke” effects that are used for Broadway productions, at Disney and other theme parks as well as at concert venues. The company owners quickly converted their factory to create new disinfection machines capable of quickly spraying a safe and effective COVID-19 killing hydrogen peroxide disinfectant solution.  In addition, the new machines are durable, very powerful and fast, making them cost-effective for regular use. The hydrogen peroxide mixture, unlike harsh chemicals used to clean homes and buildings, is safe to be around for long periods of time. It also does not cause harm when inhaled or if it comes into contact with the skin or eyes.


Over the summer with VSE, Pandemic Solutions began to offer equipment and their disinfection solution to schools, churches, hospitals and office buildings in Westchester and the greater New York area. Pandemic Solutions machines are currently being used by the Archdiocese of New York in churches and schools, Holy Family and other churches in Westchester, private schools, the New Rochelle YMCA, Calvary Hospital in The Bronx and a large school bus company that serves special needs students in New York City.


The company has assembled an advisory board which includes Dr. Christopher P. Comfort Chief Operating Officer at Calvary Hospital one of the world-leading hospitals for life ending palliative care.


“The ability to quickly disinfect large areas and locations that are used for multiple purposes, such as elevators, lunch rooms and hallways, is critical for hospitals and health care facilities. The handheld and portable units are easy to use and cover significant square footage every minute, fundamentally changing how we approach disinfection and protection of patients during this pandemic,” said Dr. Christopher P. Comfort.


Across the nation professional sports teams and facilities operators have taken interest in Pandemic Solutions’ equipment because it is cost-effective to use for disinfecting large arenas, theaters and stadiums. Cantone and Berberich recently demonstrated of multiple devices for the Sacramento Kings NBA Basketball team. Their equipment also received rave reviews from Major League Baseball and other professional sports teams as well as entertainment facility management entities.


Pandemic Solutions offers a line of highly effectives sprayers ranging from the hand-held VSE Held Magnum, and the high-tech VSE ProPack backpack unit to the VSE CK Mini and the VSE Storm High Volume Sprayer that can cover over 600,000 square feet per hour.


As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause spikes in new infections it is clear that new disinfection approaches are needed across the nation. Businesses, schools, sports arenas, churches and hotels all need to do more spraying and do it more often. Constant spraying can be expensive in terms of disinfectants and labor.  Pandemic Solutions rapid electrostatic spraying technology covers areas twice as fast as competitors, which means expensive labor costs are cut in half.  With the fine mist sprayers produce, there is no need to wipe down surfaces.  The disinfection solution kills what’s on the surface and rapidly evaporates. With Pandemic Solutions equipment it only costs a few cents for the hydrogen peroxide spray needed to cover an average size classroom.


To learn more visit www.pandemicsolutions.net.