A Solution for the Severe Shortage of Hospital Beds

Whether it’s preserving ancient artifacts from deterioration or ensuring a safe and sterilized environment for surgical instruments – we have a long history of protecting what’s important.

A legacy of finding solutions for every story.

So, when we heard stories of hospitals struggling to keep up with the growing number of patients affected by COVID-19, we knew something had to be done. And done soon.

Within 72 hours of Governor J. B. Pritzker’s Executive Order requiring the entire State of Illinois to “Shelter in Place,” and within 24 hours of New York’s announcement to turn the Javits Convention Center into a 1,000-bed hospital, we transformed our 365,000 square foot metal fabricating factory into an Emergency Bed manufacturing facility. Here, we’re building strong, durable and easy-to-assemble emergency beds – the Quik-Cot and Quik-Bed, to support medical, overflow and quarantine facilities across the country.

Our entire company is fully committed to doing our part to help the world face this unprecedented challenge.

– Bob McMurtry, President, Richards-Wilcox.



When we first started out, there was only one thing on everyone’s mind: “What can we do as a company, to help our nation get through this crisis?

We had the metal. We had the manpower. We had the motivation. All we needed was an idea that would bring relief and comfort to many, as well as provide the work needed to keep the Richards-Wilcox family working and contributing during this time of crisis.

150 of our workers’ livelihoods were on the line. R-W President Bob McMurtry knew he could reverse the shutdown if the company’s operations were considered essential. We had to take advantage of our resources and turn the lights back on, before it was too late.

That’s when we decided to convert one of our products into emergency beds. In our factory in Aurora, IL., machines used to make shelving units have been repurposed to create up to 500 emergency beds per shift. From laser-cutting sheets, to stamping out notches for the posts, to welding it all together, the R-W team is working tirelessly to improve patients’ access to healthcare, when needed the most.


I am proud that we’re weathering these difficult times together and are able to help our employees earn a livelihood, support their families, as well as contribute to the greater goal of keeping our nation safe.

– Bob McMurtry, President, Richards-Wilcox.



Quik-Cot and Quik-Bed can ease the burden on hospitals facing a severe shortage of beds and help healthcare providers administer the care patients deserve. The Richards-Wilcox emergency beds will be ready for shipment this week, complete with a mattress from local business, Moonlight Slumber, Inc.

If you or an organization you know is in need of emergency beds, please reach out to us immediately.

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