Dynamic Air Shelters is located in Grand Banks, and was founded by a man, Harold Warner, who holds world records for hot air balloon flying. During his 25 years of ballooning, he was competitive on an international scale: he once held nearly 10 world records, like “Distance Flown in a Single Hot Air Balloon Flight.”

Given his past, it’s no surprise Warner’s company began as an innovator and creator of hot air balloons in 1981, but these days the company uses a similar technology to create convenient new things, like inflatable shelters that can pop-up in a flash for disaster relief efforts.

It’s become a multi-award-winning company that sells its products throughout North America, and it’s done a ton of good. For example, when Typhoon Haiyan took out a hospital in Southeast Asia in 2013, Dynamic  Air Shelters quickly created a field hospital in the area. It treated over 15,000 patients during the time the original hospital was out of commission.

The company started out in Calgary, but Warner found it a challenge to retain workers, and set up shop in Grand Banks, Newfoundland, where hard workers weren’t hard to come by. His temporary plant is now the company’s primary production facility.

Dynamic Air Shelters are particularly revered for being highly blast resistant: these things can survive dangerous blast and ballistic threats in both industrial and military environments. This includes a product that lets people walk around safely in a mine zone.

Today, they manufacture the largest air beam shelters in the world and have developed a broad range of innovative inflatable products – everything from the aforementioned, to things air-sealed temporary hospitals that can transform to casualty containers in the instance of grave biological threats, or a soft-walled large occupancy shelter system to stay safe in a toxic gas zone.

The plant in Grand Bank has experienced steady growth, creating significant employment for the small town, hence the Gov. Of NL’s recent $178,000 investment in Dynamic Air Shelters, via the province’s Business Investment Fund and Business Development Support Program.

The government money will be used to purchase and install specialized equipment and software for the company’s inflatable air shelter manufacturing plant. “This investment will help the Grand Bank region remain competitive in the global market,” says Christopher Mitchelmore, Minister of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development.

Dynamic Air Shelters has its International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Certification, so it can work directly with large companies to set up inflatable shelters capable of withstanding a Category 3 hurricane, a significant explosion, sniper fire, grenade blasts, you name it.

These days, Warner also keeps himself busy as a director at Springboard Atlantic, which provides resources to Atlantic Canadian universities that help them transfer knowledge and technology to our region’s private sector. In a sentence, “Springboard connects skilled professionals in academia and industry to create new collaborations.”