Focus FS, a St. John's-based workplace safety software maker, has deepened its partnership with German safety company Dräger to help increase sales in the Ontario mining market.
Focus FS announced Tuesday that it would partner with Dräger Canada over several years to work with Ontario Mine Rescue to help improve mining safety. They will deploy the Focus FS Emergency Response software at over 30 mining sites in Ontario, the companies said in a statement.
"We're using leading-edge technology to strengthen mine rescue best practices," said Focus FS President and CEO Jeffrey Brown in the press release.
Brown says the deal is another step in the company’s efforts to improve workplace safety. "By vastly improving how critical information is collected and communicated in real-time, mine rescue teams can better respond to any incident – ultimately helping to save lives," he said.
Focus FS, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, sold a stake to Dräger in 2019, though the parties did not reveal the price nor how big a stake the German company took. In July 2018, Focus FS closed a $1.4 million funding round, dominated by a “quasi-equity” contribution from BDC Capital.
The St. John’s company produces Software-as-a-Service solutions that help mining and oil and gas companies operate in remote, often harsh environments.
Founded in 1889, Dräger operates in 190 countries and has more than 15,000 employees. Last year, it reported sales of over 3.3 billion euros (C$4.4 billion). It makes breathing and protection equipment, gas detection and analysis systems, as well as non-invasive patient monitoring technologies.
"This partnership demonstrates everyone's commitment to continuously improving mine rescue safety and emergency preparedness," said Rob Clark, Managing Director at Dräger Canada.
Ted Hanley, the Vice-President of Ontario Mine Rescue, highlighted how important the software is to miners and first responders who help in emergency cases.
"Our highest priority is the safety of those mine rescue responders we are sending back into the hazardous conditions of a mine emergency," Hanley said.
"The mine rescue communications platform provided by Focus FS will be used as a critical tool to ensure timely, accurate information is relayed and available to mine rescue teams and mine management – ensuring they make the safest decisions possible in the shortest amount of time.”