It’s never an easy task to be a trailblazer. Going against the grain, taking the road less travelled, marching to the beat of your own drum, whatever you call it, there is no question it can be a challenge. Being an industry disrupter takes expertise in your field, a strong message, and, perhaps most importantly, courage.
Lennox and Addington’s FireRein checks all of these boxes, and then some. Their office is tucked away in an renovated 1800s schoolhouse in Napanee Ontario. It’s a quiet street in a quiet town, but FireRein’s mission is anything but that.
Their goal is to “disrupt the market with a game-changing technology”, said CEO Rui Resendes.
FireRein’s ecogel formula is an environmentally conscious and safe alternative to traditional fire fighting foams. Not only is their product better for the environment and the fire fighters themselves, but it also smothers fire more quickly than traditional foams. All of this means that fires are extinguished quickly, with low environment impact, and without risk to firefighters’ health and wellness.
FireRein comes from small town roots. Quincy and Steve, two of the founders, were born and bred in L&A. “Steve and I grew up less than a kilometer from each other back in Enterprise, Ontario”, says Quincy. These Lennox and Addington ties meant there was never any doubt of where they would start their business.
The community support for this growing company has been phenomenal.
Quincy spoke about Lennox & Addington County and how their support has shaped the business. He said L&A “really guided us and helped us grow, and grow to the point where we could bring in people, like Rui.”
When access to funding and grants came up, Quincy said, ” …L&A County has the resources available for entrepreneurs so it was a little easier to get grants and the tools we needed to get started”.
When it came to considering a move to a larger center Rui had this to say:
“I’ve done big town, small town, and one of my objectives when I joined the team was to try to convince the team that we needed to move to a bigger center, because that was the prejudice that I went in with. ‘You can’t possibly succeed in Napanee. It’s too small’. I guess the lesson I learned pretty quickly is that there is that community leveraging that is here that I didn’t see and, in my experience, you don’t find in a lot of the bigger cities. The bigger the city the more dog-eat-dog it is.”
“There is very much a community feel around here” said Rui.
There is no doubt that FireRein is a unique and self-proclaimed industry disrupter with an exciting road ahead of them.