Local company helps equip the world for disaster
Lynda Steele and Sandra Hermiston, CTV Vancouver
Published Monday, June 23, 2014 6:00AM PDT
Last Updated Monday, June 23, 2014 7:31PM PDT
From earthquakes to forest fires, a Metro Vancouver company is helping equip the world for worst-case scenarios.
When the 2004 Indonesian tsunami killed over 230,000 people and left many more in desperate need of emergency supplies, First Aid and Survival Technologies, or FAST, answered the call for help.
“We called in everybody, even everybody's mom to come and work," said Carmen Ewles, FAST general manager, "In seven weeks we filled seven 747's worth of products and supplies that went over to southeast Asia."
FAST employees like Fari Bakhsh know when disaster strikes, you work until the job is done.
“For the tsunami we worked 24 hours. For the 9-11 we were working up to eleven o'clock or midnight," she said.
The company specializes in first aid and personal care kits, and also handcrafts custom emergency gear for police, paramedics and firefighters across North America.
From rescue workers to average homeowners, if you need emergency, earthquake or survival gear, this B.C. company has it. Its Delta warehouse is filled with emergency supplies from hardhats, to military grade light sticks, to wind up radios.
FAST is also Canada’s only certified manufacturer and provider of survival rations and it purifies and packages emergency water rations that have a five-year shelf life.
It’s a made-in-B.C. success story, offering locally made products and long term jobs. Many of its employees have been with the company since it started 20 years ago.
The company continues to expand. It is now branching out to become a full service provider for products and training, offering safety management and consulting services as well.
FAST has even created safety vests for CTV News. All of CTV’s camera vehicles and satellite trucks have reflective safety vests in them that were made a few years ago by FAST.