In The News

KOCHEK COMPANY, LLC recently announced that effective immediately a new president and CEO, George J. Wessner, will transition as Kochek’s vice president of operations to president and chief executive officer. “On behalf of the entire Kochek community, I am pleased to welcome George into this important role,” said Keith Shaughnessy, chairman and CEO of Metapoint Partners, the private investment firm that acquired Kochek last summer.

“Wessner brings with him into this leadership role a proven track record of building strong teams that produce extraordinary results.” Wessner says, “I am honored to be chosen to lead Kochek during this exciting period of growth and calibration as the company advances our reputation as one of the nation’s foremost manufacturers of water movement equipment. Kochek’s commitment to saving lives and protecting property is what inspires me, and I look forward to working with the great men and women who dedicate their lives to making this the best company it can be each and every day.”

HME, INCORPORATED, has announced that the Chesterfield (NH) Fire Rescue Precinct recently took delivery of an all new custom HME wildland unit. Built on a Dodge Ram 5500 chassis and featuring a 144.5-inch wheelbase, it is powered by a Cummins I6 350- 385-hp 6.7-liter turbo diesel engine.

The truck also features 19.5-by 6.0-inch steel wheels painted to match the body with dual rear wheels included, 730-amp maintenance-free battery, 220-amp alternator, LED interior lighting package, interior stainless steel panels, Parkview rear backup camera system, heavy-duty front bumper/brush guard/winch receiver, and left- and right-side hosewells. The stainless steel body has 87.2 cubic feet of compartment storage with adjustable shelving throughout, a 28-cubic-foot hosebed, six four-inch round body LEDs, and a body-mounted Whelen Justice 56-inch light bar system.

THE NATIONAL VOLUNTEER FIRE COUNCIL (NVFC) has announced the winners of its three national fire service achievement awards. Chief Freddy Johnson Sr. is the recipient of the NVFC Lifetime Achievement Award. William Wren is the recipient of the NVFC Fire Prevention and Education Award. Parker Ketler was named the Junior Firefighter of the Year Award recipient.

SPARTAN EMERGENCY RESPONSE, a business unit of Spartan Motors, Inc., announced that it is expanding coverage in the Midwest with the addition of Feld Fire, a top regional dealer and provider of fire apparatus and first responder equipment.

TRUE NORTH’s founder and CEO Alyx Fier recently reflected on the company’s 25th anniversary. “Looking back on the last 25 years of the joys and challenges associated with running a business, I was reminded of when I came up with the concept of our patented load-trapping pack design, which was the foundation of True North. The inspiration was simple, but the implementation was complex. At the time, I was working as a carpenter and had zero experience with pack design or sewing of any kind. I started out by studying the packs I owned to learn design and construction techniques, seam allowances, pocket attachment, and zipper placement. After that, I dismantled my simplest pack and sewed it back together again. It sounds simple, but at the time it was a nerve-wracking experience.

“I bought a basic home sewing machine from Goodwill and would turn the fly-wheel by hand when working on the heavier fabrics and webbing because the motor was so small. Over the next six months of working nights and weekends, I taught myself pack design and prototype sewing through trial and error on my under-powered sewing machine and using pizza boxes to make patterns. Sitting alone in the garage night after night, I remember almost crying with frustration from the challenge of sewing my first packs. Now, 25 years later, we have a design room with CAD programs for design, plotters to print and cut the pattern pieces in minutes, and a room full of specialized sewing machines to turn out prototypes. So much has changed since our beginnings, but what hasn’t changed is the passion to create innovative, highly functional designs and the perseverance required to work through the often frustrating process of trial and error until we get it right.”

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