COVID-19: Calgary company builds ICUs, vaccination pods to ship around the world.

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Pivoting during the pandemic is a matter of survival for so many Canadian companies. And as Gil Tucker reports, for one Calgary business, the pivot is helping people around the world survive COVID-19.

Pivoting during the COVID-19 pandemic is a matter of survival for so many Canadian companies, and for one Calgary business, the pivot is helping people around the world survive the pandemic.

The people at Falkbuilt are old hands at turning out pre-made components to be assembled onsite for commercial clients.

Since COVID-19 hit, they’ve been busy with more health-care projects, shipping kits that become intensive care unit rooms to hospitals as far away as the Middle East.

“The Kuwait Cancer Centre — a large order there that we’re doing,” Falkbuilt company founder Mogens Smed said.

“Like what we did up at the Lougheed Hospital (in Calgary), we put 63 temporary ICUs in. We just did a hospital, 20 rooms in Montreal.”

And with countries around the world racing to vaccinate, Falkbuilt is now shifting to meet a new pandemic demand.

“Vaccination pods,” Smed said. “We’re doing nine of them for the Bermuda airport.”

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The pods take four hours to put together, with the company now looking at potential orders for about 10,000 units for major pharmacy chains in the U.S.

“They want to have their own vaccination centres there and they want them to be designed in such a way that they can place them anywhere where they have the space, not having to construct a space for it,” Smed said.

“A lot of the things that you might normally go to a clinic for, they want to do it right inside their own operations.”

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Battling the coronavirus is something that’s personal for the 73-year-old company founder; he recovered from COVID-19 three months ago.

“When we got it — my wife and I — it wasn’t pleasant,” Smed said. “It’s a lot more real than some of these people think it is.”

Smed sees a need for his health care-related products beyond the short term.

“This pandemic isn’t the end of this thing. There’s going to be perpetual requirement for vaccinations of all kinds,” Smed said.

“We have to have a plan or a strategy for it.”

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