PUTTING FIRST RESPONDERS FIRST
NORTH WEST RUBBER DONATION HELPS SARNIA FIREFIGHTERS PRIORITIZE FITNESS AND SAFETY
PUBLISHED IN SEPT 2021
Photos: Dean Holtz | www.deanholtz.ca
On Highway 40 leading south out of Sarnia, Ontario, the red-bricked Churchill Road Firehall is a mainstay in the local community. Staffed round-the-clock by three firefighters and an officer, “Station 2” – one of Sarnia Fire Rescue Services’ five stations – is consistently busy. The firehall provides residential fire protection as well as first response to the nearby petrochemical industries. It also serves the adjacent Aamjiwnaang First Nation Reserve.
For North West Rubber, first responders such as the Station 2 crew have been top of mind for more than 50 years. As North America’s largest manufacturer of recycled rubber products, we’re keenly aware of the environmental impact of improperly discarded rubber tires, and the special fire safety attention required of large industrial operations. That’s why, when the opportunity arises to help support our community’s – and industry’s – greatest heroes, we’re eager to step up.
When Sarnia firefighter Russ Elliott got in touch, we knew our FitFloor PRO gym mats would be the perfect fit.
Elliott, a Sarnia firefighter and member of the Sarnia Professional Fire Fighters Association (SPFFA) Properties Committee, was already familiar with North West Rubber. The Canadian company’s Brantford, Ontario plant is located in his own hometown, directly across the road from his family. But he wasn't aware of NWR’s wide range of recycled rubber products, and how they could perfectly suit first responders’ needs.
“I knew they made rubber matting, but was unaware of the extensive product line they offered, including the FitFloor line we were supplied with,” says Elliott. “When I contacted NWR I was looking for an economical flooring solution for our gym space that would be readily available during the COVID-19 supply chain issues. They far exceeded my expectations.”
Before: Slippery, old gym flooring
After: New safer, more durable FitFloor PRO gym floors
North West Rubber worked with Elliott to outfit the firehall gym space with FitFloor PRO 10mm thick 4x6 mats in black with blue speckle. Not only did the flooring install come through in the midst of the pandemic, but the 400 square feet of premium recycled rubber mats were donated in full by North West Rubber.
The easy-install mats were then laid down by Sarnia Firehall members themselves, transforming the dated, slippery plastic tile floors into something much cleaner, safer, and more sustainable.
“Being a full time department, physical fitness is very important to our members and our health and safety team,” says Elliott. “The flooring in our gym spaces is key to providing us a smooth, non-slip surface to work out on, while giving cushion to protect our bodies and the floor from the equipment and weights.”
Since the install, he has found himself fielding requests for supplier info from people looking to upgrade their personal home gym floors with something as accessible, durable and sharp-looking.
“We’ve received numerous compliments regarding the ease of installation, the appearance of the flooring – the blue fleck is great – and the support and traction it provides,” says Elliott.
“It turned our workout space into a gym we’re proud of.”
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