Relief Work Shows “Always Safe, Always Ready” Culture at Its Best

By John Parrott
President and Chief Executive Officer

John Parrott
President and CEO

Of all the work Foss performed for our customers and communities over the past year, perhaps none better exemplified our core values as did our work in helping Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands recover from the devastating one-two punch of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The “Always Ready” sign that can be seen in photos as far back as the 1890s, hanging over the Thea and Andrew Foss boathouse in Tacoma, has become the Foss motto that was so well exemplified by our actions in the Caribbean. The “Always Safe” part of our motto is newer, added a decade ago to acknowledge the importance of safety in our company culture.

“Always Safe” is placed before “Always Ready” to remind us that no matter how well trained and how well prepared we might be that we still start every project, every day and every evolution with our first thoughts towards safety.

As the size and impact of Hurricane Irma and Maria unfolded, many within the Foss organization began to mobilize our people, our assets, and our maritime partners to prepare for a wide range of potential responses.

As it turned out, the first thing that was needed after direct emergency services was to provide accommodations for the thousands of emergency responders entering the region. These floating hotels provided safe housing, food and water for first responders. Foss also provided more than 3,000 boxed meals each day during the crisis.

Next came the request for barges of water, food, and supplies, as the Corbin Foss and The Lauren Foss, along with many other US flagged vessels, arrived in the area.

The Tug Corbin Foss departed from Puerto Rico, towing Barges that carried some of the nearly 600 utility trucks that helped restore power to the island.

Once the critical services related to food, water healthcare and shelter were underway, the focus shifted to rebuilding. With power still out in much of Puerto Rico, Foss, working with electrical companies across the U.S., safely delivered more than 720 utility trucks to help get power back to the island.

This ability to once again provide end-to-end solutions for the most challenging tasks is a testament to the character of our many maritime professionals. Their combination of safety and readiness is what makes Foss a valued partner to our customers.