Only a handful of companies manufacture fire trucks, and the Sutphen Corporation is one of the oldest.
The 123-year-old, family-owned company is on its fourth generation of Sutphen’s at the helm.
The Sutphen Company, located in Dublin, makes pumpers and aerial ladders for fire departments across the country and around the world, all by hand.
“We build the entire truck from the ground up,” said Alissa McGlone, Sutphen’s marketing manager.
They can cost from $250,000 to $1.5 million.
Last year, Sutphen sold 190 pieces of equipment, and each one was custom built to the buyer’s specifications.
A graphic designer uses a computer to layout the location of all the valves and switches that will go on the pump panel.
One of the products Sutphen is famous for is aerial ladders. The complex moveable platforms incorporate ladders can extend up to 110 feet so the hoses attached can pour water on buildings from above.
The aerial ladders are true marvels of modern technology. They can extend almost 12 stories into the air. Some include remote control kits so firefighters don't even need to be on the platform to direct the water onto a fire. They’ve also been used to extend firefighters over icy ponds to help in water rescues.
Sutphen is continuing to expand its reach by selling fire equipment in markets outside the United States, including in China.
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