On August 7, 2018, 45-minutes of torrential rain caused extensive flooring within the Greater Toronto Area and, in particular, the downtown Toronto core. With stormwater systems overwhelmed and property damages climbing, FirstOnSite Restoration was soon called to action.
“When got a lot of calls that night from a lot of concerned clients who recognized this was more than your average rainstorm, but instead a natural event that could severely impact their operations if not addressed quickly and appropriately” recalls Bill Fender, Senior Vice President, Commercial Property Portfolios, with FirstOnSite.
Indeed, the downpour had impacted numerous downtown businesses and properties; most notably within their parking garages, sub-level infrastructure, and mechanical rooms. The situation required immediate emergency responses and restoration work to prevent further damage and minimize business interruptions.
FirstOnSite was at the scene within 55 minutes of receiving its first call to assess the damage and begin water extraction operations.
“It’s always a ticking clock in these situations,” says Fender. “As soon as we get the call, the countdown is on, and our main goal is to mitigate the damage to our clients. Of course, that’s where working with them proactively to design emergency response and business continuity plans are critical to what we do because that enables our clients to begin helping themselves before we get on site.”
It was a demanding night on many fronts. At its peak, FirstOnSite’s crew swelled to 450 restoration specialists who collectively attended to 63 critical assignments. Each job required a thorough, in-person walkthrough with the client to assess their property’s damage, determine business continuity priorities, and plan the best path to recovery.
“For every one of the assignments, the privacy of sensitive information was an utmost priority,” notes Fender. “That was one of the biggest challenges, and it meant utilizing security cleared resources while adhering to client confidentiality standards at all times.”
The scope and complexity of the event also required FirstOnSite to call in its Commercial Large Loss Unit, a team comprised of highly-skilled project managers who focus on managing the restoration of complex losses and the most critical infrastructure. Together, FirstOnSite’s teams completed a majority of its restoration projects within 30 days, allowing its GTA clients to get back to business.
Back to work
All told, it was FirstOnSite’s combined expertise and ability to mobilize expert resources that ensured the mitigation of significant losses while maintaining regular service for its GTA clients. When the work was done, the company was commended by all their affected customers for their speed, know-how, and commitment to bringing critical systems and infrastructure back from the brink.
Adds Fender: “FirstOnSite’s two-pronged approach helped quickly restore the damaged subterranean spaces and helped all customers avoid extensive financial losses. Commercial clients were quickly restored with minimal disruption to their businesses, and ongoing customers received the service they rely upon.”
FirstOnSite Restoration is a leading Canadian-based disaster restoration company providing remediation, restoration, and reconstruction services nationwide, as well as for the US large loss and commercial market. For more information, visit www.firstonsite.ca.