Tofino Craft Distillery is producing hand sanitizer for emergency operation centres in the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District.
Currently the craft distillery owned by three local volunteer firefighters, John Gilmour, Neil Campbell and Adam Warry, has delivered 150 litres of hand sanitizer to front lines essential services throughout West Coast communities.
“We have been on top of this for weeks now and followed the direction of those in charge of Emergency Co-ordination and have now supplied those EOC departments in Tofino, Ucluelet, Bamfield and Port Alberni with this sanitizer which contains well over 70 per cent ethyl alcohol and pure argan oil, which makes it suitable get for skin application,” said Campbell.
Thanks to my buddies at #tofinodistillery we have a steady supply of hand sanitizer for our firefighters and municipal staff. #ThankYouCOVID19Heroes #ukeelove @TofinoCA @Josie_Osborne #NeighborsHelpingNeighbors pic.twitter.com/7Yxd5fbtA4
— Rick Geddes (@RD_Geddes34) March 26, 2020
Claire Bond, founder of essential oil company Clarity Apothecary, supplied spray bottles, labels, and moisturizing argan oil for the hospital grade sanitizer. Her friend at Smashing Glass events offered up her warehouse for production and the Tofino Brew Co. is supplying growlers.
“It’s been a wild ride. If someone had said to me two weeks ago I would be making sanitizer, I would have told them they were crazy,” said Bond, an integrated health professional.
She said on March 18 the people at Tofino Distillery contacted her and by March 19 they had their first sample.
“In the first couple of hours we were able to come together and collaborate. They could get me the alcohol that I needed and I could get them the bottles and the labels and a way of making the alcohol not burn the hands. It really is a beautiful collaboration,” said Bond, adding that this all come together while she was in quarantine.
Down the road in Ucluelet, Luke Erridge has turned his award-winning Pacific Rim Distilling into a hand sanitizer production facility with the help of Ucluelet Rent It Centre, Sysco, Black Berry Cove and the Ucluelet Co-op.
Erridge said his hand sanitizer is available for free at a pump station behind the Ucluelet Co-op deli counter. People are asked to bring a small refillable bottle.
“In times like this, everyone in town needs to come together. Whatever you have that you can help out, offer it up. If you have an abundance of firewood, offer it up. If you have are a fisherman and you have way too much fish, put it up. If have too many eggs from your chickens, put them up. We have to help each other,” said Erridge.
“I love this place. I’ll pretty much do anything I can to keep everyone safe here,” he went on to say. “It’s for anyone and anyone in town. Just bring small containers. There is no need to be greedy. There is plenty to go around.”
The Tofino Distillery is also working towards creating a World Health Organization version of hand sanitizer for the general public, which will be released in greater volume over the next couple of weeks.
“We are all local firefighters, and this effort is an attempt to ensure those who require sanitizer have access to it. However, as directed by the governments, the general public should still be staying home and practicing regular hand washing as the most effective method to reduce the spread,” said Campbell.
“We also want to give the people of the communities some peace of mind that we are here and will produce this as long as it is required. We are committed to the safety of our front lines, and our neighbours all along the coast.”
“This should go on until the pandemic is over,” Erridge said.