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Extensive growth of US Fire Pump

In 2014 Chris Ferrara, president, and CEO of US Fire Pump, saw a glaring need for the petrochemical industry to have high quality equipment adapted specifically for its needs. In addition, Ferrara saw that supplemental emergency response teams to aid in larger than usual fires, something that many customers requested.  

With this in mind, and using his more than four decades of knowledge in manufacturing, Ferrara embarked on a journey eight years ago. He was also backed with the expertise of having been the owner of one of the largest fire apparatus manufactures, and his decades of fire service experience. Marrying these rich experiences he founded US Fire Pump, a manufacturer of fire equipment and the world’s largest Emergency Response Organization. Ferrara’s vision to provide innovative equipment and firefighting methods has taken the world by storm.  

Ferrera quotes one of the USA’s founding fathers Benjamin Franklin. He said: “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”  

Already having satellite offices in Texas and manufacturing in Louisiana, Ferrara continued his vision for growth via expansion, and progress by constructing a new world class manufacturing facility in Holden, Louisiana in 2020.The facilities are not only home to state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment but large testing and training facilities and the largest fleet of emergency response and fire rental equipment on the globe. Since is construction, many pieces of custom designed and built fire equipment have been delivered from the facility to customers spanning several continents.  

Facilities and expansion  

Being growth minded Ferrara knew that creating a presence strong regional and global presence to better serve the industry would need to be a top priority. Ferrara says: “Our locations in Holden and Baton Rouge, Los Angeles, Vidor, Texas and additional firefighting foam storage in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Rancho Cucamonga, California, and Spain ensure that we are able to serve our customers strategically. As you can see, from locations across the Gulf South, we have a heavy presence in the region due to the sheer amount of the industrial facilities concentrated in the area.  

“To enhance our already robust coverage across the region, I’m excited to announce that we are opening a brand-new facility on I-10 in Mt. Belvieu, TX. The new facility in Texas will be a hub in the region for warranty, repair, service and dispatch of rental and emergency response equipment.”  

On the opening of the new facility Ferrara adds: “These new openings are paramount in achieving the success of US Fire Pump and allows for continued growth and success in the industry.” 

The new Texas facility is located at 11331 I-10 East Mont Belvieu, TX 77523. Of course, having additional space for service is going to ease the demand on each location, but as we opened this location in Texas because of the demand that the “Everything is bigger in Texas created”. Although the rest of the United States and in particular the Gulf South have many petrochemical plants, Texas is an anomaly due to the sheer volume of product required in the Greater Houston Region and the Golden Triangle. Having this facility in Mont Belvieu allows for us to have dedicated resources to this region. From a petrochemical industry standpoint, it’s mindboggling as to how many companies are concentrated in Texas. For us being in the region and providing exclusive dedicated resources to the area makes the most sense for speed of service to the customer. 

Five biggest changes in the industry 

Ferrara says: “From my humble beginnings as a welder / pipefitter, volunteer fireman to building a company that manufactures fire apparatus’, I have seen a massive evolution of the fire services, emergency responders, and safety industry.” 

Technology would be number one; the speed that advancements in technology within the fire service industry has been rapid. “I’ve always prided myself and our company on being innovative and developing new technologies to introduce to the fire service market. It’s what always has set us apart from the competition.  

Secondly, firefighting foam and the regulations with PFAS and PFOA’s have seen several changes. This goes hand-in-hand with technology but the speed of the regulations has caused the technology of using fluorinated foams to the use of non-fluorinated firefighting foam. Third, is the clean cab technology in the fire service. A shift to move firefighters from, for instance wearing bunker gear in the apparatus cab due to the constant exposure to carcinogens is something someone would not have even entertained 30 years ago, for that that even as recent as 10 years ago.  

This goes back to technology but the robust filtrations systems to reduce these exposures to the hazardous substances is something that is one of the biggest changes I have seen to date. Number four: The use of passenger and commercial electric cars on our roads, and the demand on firefighters to extinguish electric car fires. This is all new to the fire servicepeople and it’s here to stay. There is major difference in the way traditional fossil fuel powered cars are extinguished.  

Lastly, it’s not something that has changed but an element that has remained constant. It’s the people. The emergency responders who serve the public everyday are the same today as they were 40 years ago and will continue to be heroes for generations. Their passion and dedication drive people like myself and our company, to continue to innovate products to serve them.  

We have a long list of clients who use our products and services, and I would like to thank them all. From building high velocity pumps for FDNY’s ‘Super Pumper’ to our Emergency Response Teams extinguishing major fires for numerous corporations and government agencies, we have nothing but gratitude for the trust shown in our services, people, and products. 

The pandemic and giving back 

The nature and impact of Covid was devastating. The pandemic, and resulting illness that it cause, affected many companies with employee welfare severely affected in some cases leading to fatalities. However, for US Fire Pump employees saw no major impacts to their health. Such was our strength that we never ceased operating for a single day throughout the last two years. This was down to the high demand of Emergency Response calls during the pandemic and the subsequent waves that hit different states in the US, at different times. During the pandemic, we also witnessed an uptick in request for our rental equipment and other services that we offer different market segments. The one negative implication of the pandemic has been the severely restrained global logistics sector. Components that are typically considered ‘everyday’ items are considerably harder to source. Even when in stock procuring them in a timely manner is still a major issue.  

Speaking about employee welfare, US Fire Pump are major believers in giving back to the community through our various corporate social responsibility efforts. Ferrara says: “I’ve always been a firm believer in giving back to the fire service industry. For many years, even with my previous company that manufactured fire apparatus’ and now through US Fire Pump, giving back to first responders has been a key pillar of our DNA. We give back in many ways, the obvious ones are through donations that support fire and security conferences.  

“But I feel the best way to do give back and leave a lasting impression is through education. Here at US Fire Pump, we hold free training sessions for first responders. These modules would otherwise cost each individual member a few thousand dollars. The reason we have kept our trainings free is because knowledge and expertise are worth their weight in gold, not only in terms of career progress but also to save lives. Afterall, serving the public and protecting lives is our main aim and mission and education is key to its success.