FORT MYERS BEACH, Florida – When an incident commander reached out to see if a portable gym could be provided for first responders assisting with recovery efforts in the town of Fort Myers Beach, BeaverFit answered the call.
After Hurricane Ian ravaged the town in September 2022, incident management teams belonging to the Federal Emergency Management Agency were deployed and set up camp to begin the ongoing recovery process.
Working long days and nights, many away from home and their families, firefighters and contractors had an additional obstacle to tackle – the hurricane destroyed the two local fire stations, leaving no place for physical training.
“I saw a need for the first responders, the contractors, and the people who had been through a disaster,” said Scott D’Angelo, incident commander for the Hurricane Ian recovery process in Fort Myers Beach. “I saw a need to workout, because that helps with stress, fatigue and establishing a normal routine.”
As a retired firefighter himself, D’Angelo said he viewed this as an opportunity to give back to the community of first responders.
He knew about BeaverFit because of previous support to the firefighting community, but he was shocked when they actually approved his request.
“The island is completely destroyed. We have a command post set up with local, state, federal and fire rescue personnel. Could BeaverFit donate a portable gym so some of the members living in our camp can get a workout in? We are working 12-18 hour days and this would help a lot of people out,” D’Angelo’s request read.
When the request reached Nick Vay, vice president of commercial sales at BeaverFit, he was excited about the prospect of supporting the mission.
In an effort to find the quickest and most efficient way to support the request, Vay proposed the Beyond Trailer 12′ – a “gym on wheels” that provides an innovative mobile training solution combining training rigs and equipment storage.
One week later, BeaverFit shipped a trailer from Nevada to Florida for a 90-day lease at no cost.
Featuring two folding strength racks that can be set-up by a single user in a few minutes with no tools required, the 12-foot Beyond Trailer creates a fully mobile training center for up to 30 people. The Beyond Trailer unit was also fully stocked with Grey Man Gear equipment and accessories, providing barbells, bumper plates, medicine balls, kettlebells and more for the first responders to use during their group workouts.
“The people who used it enjoyed it,” D’Angelo said of the trailer. “It’s a huge hit with this population. It’s like candy – everybody who sees it wants it.”