A Delta-based business is significantly expanding its operations and adding about 100 new employees after being awarded a federal government contract to produce PPE isolation gowns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
First Aid & Survival Technologies (F.A.S.T.) is among nine companies across the country awarded the contract. The River Road business has been in operation since 1988 and specializes in manufacturing PPE, First Aid kits, emergency preparedness kits and safety apparel.
“It’s exciting for Delta. (Eastern Canada) seems to get the lion’s share of these contracts, but we worked really, really hard on this,” said F.A.S.T. general manager Carmen Ewles. “The requirement of the contract was it had to be 100 percent Canadian made, from the raw materials to the employees. Now we are going to be leaning even more on the Delta and Surrey labour market and we’ve secured a second facility.”
It was a little over a year ago, with PPE in high demand in the early days of the pandemic, when the company did a pivot after BC Ambulance Services requested Level 3 disposable isolation gowns. A provincial contract was eventually awarded for one million gowns that took the company in an upward path to November. That’s also when the tender closed for the federal contract, which is for a total of two million gowns. F.A.S.T. has added two new automatic machines to accommodate the order.
“It’s a different style, but we know we can do it,” added Ewles. “We are going like crazy and need more people. We have two beautiful facilities and our COVID safety protocol is through the roof.”
She welcomes employee candidates to drop by the company’s main headquarters at 8850 River Road or fill out an application online.