Our Story

How we've built FAST Cooling with
relationships, integrity and quality.

Fast Cooling Cooler
Years Experience
0 +
Tim Swanson Engineer Fast Cooling
Who we are

we're proud to be the leader in COOLING TECHNOLOGY.

Over the years, we have had the privilege of working with the finest racing teams in the world. We have cooled drivers, crewmembers and team owners in sanctioning from Nascar to Formula 1, from NHRA to Gravedigger (and all the other Monster Jam trucks). 

In addition to Auto Racing, we have cooled actors on movie sets, band members, characters & mascots, space programs workers in clean rooms in nuclear plants (including Duke Energy). We’ve cooled for FX companies, foundry workers, athletes, HVAC plants, MS patients, surgeons and children who cannot sweat. FAST is the coolest company you’ll ever work with.

the history

F.A.S.T. (Fresh Air Systems Technologies) is a family owned business, right here in the Midwest. We make our products in house at our manufacturing facility in Des Plaines, IL and Milwaukee, WI. We have 3 generations of family working here, along with other employees that we have adopted as our own. We would love to include you into our FAST family. If you find yourself in the Chicago area, let us know, we would love to see you.

FAST started in a garage in Arlington Heights, IL at the home of founder Chris Raffo in 1982. Chris was a Baja truck driver and was sick of eating dirt. He created a helmet that brought filtered air directly to his mouth, without allowing the dust to come in from under the helmet.

Helmet manufacturers followed his lead and the Sidewinder helmet was created. This set up the foundation for our relationships with other manufacturers of safety equipment and we have cultivated these relationships since 1982.

We have added many styles of blowers and filters to our product line over the years, so we have something for every venue of racing. F.A.S.T. was also the first company to come out with COOL filtered air, by adding a cooler with a heat extrusion packed full of ice to drop the temperature of the air going to your helmet (keeping your head cool). We have blowers, filters and cooling for every type of racing you could imagine, plus drag racing, off-road trucks, stock car, sports car, formula car, go-karts, legends, monster trucks, drag boats, powerboats and more! 

the fast cool suit

Speaking of shirts, we introduced our first FAST cool shirt in the 90’s with the help of an orthopedic surgeon who created a cooling vest to use in the operating room in 1987. Dr. Braden wore a 45 pound lead apron during surgery (due to Xray machines in operating rooms) and found himself unbearably hot under the lights. Styled after the cool suits used by NASA in the space program in the 60’s and 70’s, He created a reservoir system that cooled a vest by pumping ice water into a circulatory system of tubes sewn into 4 quadrants (front, back, left and right chest).

One thing led to another and our FAST Cooling systems were kicking it at the racetracks throughout the country. Imitation is the best form of flattery, and we are honored that more than one opponent has assumed the style of our design. 

In 2001, after the tragic death of Dale Earnhart, we changed our shirt design to allow for the HANS device to sit properly on our driver’s shoulders without hindering the cooling tubes. We dropped the pattern of tubes onto the upper arm and incidentally, found that we cooled far more surface area than any other cool shirt on the market. We still use this pattern on our shirts to incorporate over 50 feet of cool tubing on every shirt.

FAST has introduced SFI shirts for fire safety, tie dye for fun and many additional colors to match your racing style.

FAST Cooling Blue Cooling Shirt
Jill Swanson - FAST Cooling

New leadership

Jill Swanson began working for the company in sales and marketing in 1992 and in 2005, she purchased all shares of the business and the rest is history (and future stories to be told).

It’s been Jill’s mission that F.A.S.T. thrives on customer relationships, values our distributors, as they are our best repeat customers and wants every customer to have the chance to be the coolest F.A.S.T. driver out there.

By pursuing an incessant quest for quality from all angles, FAST Cooling, aka, Fresh Air Systems Technologies, Inc. – is not just blowers, coolers and racing equipment for the racing industry, but helmet ventilation experts on a quest to better the performance and stamina of the racing athlete through products used and developed in a racing environment.

– Jill Swanson, Fresh Air Systems Technologies CEO


What our clients have to say about us


Latest news & bLOG article

Check out our blog to read our latest updates and news.