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Fire Line Equipment, LLC Continues Growth
Established has an apparatus broker in Lititz, Pa, Fire Line Equipment, LLC continues to grow the core fire apparatus repair, parts and used fire apparatus business.
Keeping It Simple, Fair and Honest
Anyone can create a website; scan the internet for used fire trucks that are for sale and post them to their web site only hoping to get in the middle of the sale. We did not want to be known for the site with several hundred advertisements that are hard to read, much less find the used fire truck that a buyer may be looking for among hundreds of other advertised firetrucks for sale. Breaking the industry mold, we kept it simple, fair and honest. We did not mask our location like some brokers from other countries; we made it known that we are Fire Line Equipment from Lititz, Pennsylvania.
In mid 2009 Tim Ashworth and Ron Fink partnered with the intent of taking Fire Line Equipment to the next level. Plans were under way to grow the existing fire apparatus business. Up until now, Tim Ashworth had operated Fire Line Equipment from an office in Lititz, PA and had found buyers for several hundred used fire trucks. The apparatus were purchased by fire departments from all over the world.
Ron and Tim made the decision to expand upon the current business of used apparatus broker to a full apparatus service facility located in Central Pennsylvania. After a long search; a site in East Earl, Pa with a 5000 sq/ft repair shop become available that featured excellent customer access, ninety foot drive through bays and all within close proximity to needed sub contractors for diesel fuel and other truck related services. Move in day was set and the doors officially opened in July 2009 with our first service repair customer from the Concordville Fire Company coming in for aerial maintenance on their LTI ladder tower.
Ron and Tim both spent 25+ years at Ladder Towers, Inc (LTI) prior to coming together at Fire Line Equipment. Experience with the LTI aerial product, technical aspects, support, mobile service, ladder truck replacement parts, refurbishment and customer base were second nature. The immediate focus become aerial maintenance, repair and service but this quickly evolved to service and repair work on fire department owned pumpers, rescues, tankers and chassis's.
Our first employee (Kory Hertzog) was hired in late 2009 to assist with the demand for replacement parts. Kory had spent the last 22 years in the fire truck manufacturing and service industry fulfilling apparatus replacement part orders. With the increase of maintenance and repair work going through the service shop, a knowledgeable fire truck "parts guru" was desperately needed to not only assist with the parts needs for the shop but to also fulfill customer orders that would be shipped out. Kory stepped right in and remains with the company today. UPS and Fed Ex are his best friends!
In addition to staffing our parts department, our first mobile "Road Technician" was hired. We selected Shawn Smith who brought 18 years of fire truck experience to the plate. Shawn had traveled the country for an apparatus manufacturer performing maintenance and repairs on customer owned fire trucks that the builder had sold. Later in his career with the builder, Shawn was part of a technical support team that assisted customers and dealers from all over the world that were in need of hydraulic and electrical trouble shooting expertise.
Shawn's first "Mobile Service Truck" was a 2008 Ford E-250 Van that Tim and Ron purchased used from a pre-owned dealer. It was in great condition and had very low mileage. The new mobile service truck was lettered and striped, outfitted with tool box, tools and parts and sent on its way.
Shawn has traveled as far south as Alabama and north to New Hampshire servicing and repairing all makes and models of fire trucks, aerials and fire pumps. Still in service today, our first mobile repair truck continues to serve us well.
Shawn is still with Fire Line Equipment and now serves as our Service Manager coordinating the shop schedule and communicating the operations with both our customers and shop technicians. Shawn is a Certified Emergency Vehicle Technician (EVT) and a volunteer firefighter for over 17 years with the Fire Department Mt. Joy in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania
By the end of 2010, Fire Line Equipment had added two additional service technicians. Steve Boley with 29 years of fire truck maintenance and repair experience and Tim Sweigart with 22 years of fire apparatus build and repair experience. Both Steve and Tim are Certified Emergency Vehicle Technicians (EVT) with expertise in steel and aluminum welding, hydraulics, electrical, fire pumps and component trouble shooting. Both Steve and Tim remain with the company contributing daily to the overall success of Fire Line Equipment.
2010 also brought the launch of a second web site: www.fleservice.com that caters to our service and parts customers. The new web site grew quickly and the decision was made to add an on-line store for fire truck parts. Apparatus parts and accessories can be purchased on our secure site via credit card through PayPal processing.
The company continued to grow in 2011 and additional shop and parts storage space would be needed. The decision was made to lease additional space within the current building, essentially doubling our current square footage. The new addition would house our parts warehouse, shipping and receiving; and provide additional shop area for the service shop with a second ninety foot drive through bay.
All of the growth bought the need for a team player to head up our accounting side. Up until now most of the accounting functions were handled off site with the exception of the repair and sales invoicing. With the ever increasing amount used fire trucks, repair quotes, service work and fire truck part sales; it became very obvious that this addition to the staff needed to happen ASAP.
Kathy Brandt took over our accounting operations handling our A/P, A/R and payroll. She came to Fire Line Equipment knowing that not all fire trucks are red. Kathy spent 23 years processing the A/R, A/P and payroll at a factory that produced fire trucks for customers worldwide. Kathy also handles the majority of uploads and maintenance to both company websites: www.fleservice.com and http://www.firelineequipment.com.
By the middle of 2011 we were in conversation with several manufacturers regarding carrying their product line. E-ONE, Seagrave, Ferrara, Smeal, American LaFrance all came to plate with an offering. In the end we decided to align with E-ONE out of Ocala, Florida due their solid financial standing, vast product offering, excellent product design, expert product support and available territory. Although we had not signed the deal yet, E-ONE and Fire Line Equipment announced our intentions at the 2011 Harrisburg Fire Expo.
2012 has brought more expansion with two additional employees, new office construction, new customers, more challenges, and a whole lot of excitement!
Fire Line Equipment, LLC located in East Earl, Pa is a full service fire apparatus dealer. Offering on site and mobile fire apparatus repair and service, fire truck replacement parts and used fire trucks.