We live in a country where the availability of necessities such as toilet paper has been taken for granted. What’s more as a culture we have gazed curiously upon others who require face masks as personal protection as part of their daily lives.
Who would have thought in the year 2020 that Susan Hull, the CEO of the Australasian Institute of Marine Surveyors (AIMS), while on the hunt for coveted toilet paper, would happen upon another equally fortuitous find, those illustrious highly sought after face masks.
Marine Surveyors, who make up the membership of the AIMS, have continued to work to keep our country moving while much of the nation has come to a standstill.
Attending vessel surveys including essential travel, interspersed with bouts of self-isolation, has been an ongoing normal routine for these essential workers exposing themselves daily to many different people and situations. PPE including face masks and gloves are donned as a part of their daily uniform and, like so many other frontline workers, they have found these requisite items have become very sparse on the ground.
At first the find seemed too good to be true. More than once the questions arose; Is this genuine? Are we going to blow members money on a dicey deal? As it turned out we were further assured that the masks were a three layer procedural mask made of PFE99 Filter Materials which are anti-bacterial and anti-droplet proof and FDA approved. The leap of faith was made!
We decided to charge only cost price plus postage, now was not the time to think about money, it was the time to chip in and support our surveyors any way we could.
We ordered 10,000 masks straight away but waiting for the shipment was a nightmare.
Our anxiety was relieved when, thankfully, the masks arrived and were exactly as we anticipated. We took a leap of faith and it paid off. In times when we are often warned of those using current circumstance to take advantage of the unsuspecting, it is reassuring to maintain our faith in others.
As word was communicated to our members and industry colleagues the orders rolled in. Within a few days we had sold over 7,000 masks with orders coming from independent surveyors wanting a box of 50 to larger organisations taking up 1,000 at a time. We were blown away by the response but heartened that we could do something to offer our support.
In no time, shipments were heading all over Australia to support those on the ground. The masks were sold to members at the institutes cost with the purpose of the exercise primarily one more small way we could support our members from our position in the background. In Susan’s own words “We didn’t set out to make a profit, we just had a bit of luck and wanted to share it within our industry.”
While the restrictions within our states are easing, the battle is far from won. PPE such as face masks will become a norm within our industry for long time to come and we aim to be there backing our members wherever we can. It’s our small contribution, the little can do to keep them safe and the wheels of our industry turning.
While most of the first order have sold out we are still holding a stock supply so if anyone from within the industry is needing a masks please contact us at email@example.com or phone 02 6232 6555.
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