By Chris Mc Loone
FDIC attendees gathered at the Pierce booth on Thursday at FDIC 2014 for the unveiling of two new Pierce products. While they waited, the Indiana Pacers Drum Line kept the crowd energized and entertained before Jim Johnson, Oshkosh Corporation executive vice president and president, Fire and Emergency, addressed the crowd.
Not only did Pierce announce new products, it also announced its support of three events that support the families of fallen firefighters.
“Pierce is pleased and excited once again to be supporting and sponsoring a stair climb at historic Lambeau field in Green Bay, Wisconsin,” said Johnson. “It will be later this summer, one of the first two weekends in September.” Second, he noted that attendees can sign up at the Pierce booth for the annual 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb. “Consider participating. It’s a great way to exercise while you’re here and of course a wonderful way to support the families of fallen firefighters, said Johnson.”
The third way Pierce is supporting the families of fallen firefighters is a program it organized with W.S. Darley Co., the “Give-Back Giveaway.” A $10 suggested donation in the NFFF or Pierce booth is all it takes to enter the sweepstakes, and 100 percent of proceeds raised will benefit the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF).
“This truck behind me, has six compartments that are completely stocked and full of high-end firefighting equipment,” said Johnson. “The equipment was donated by our peers in the industry, the manufacturers of the equipment. It was all coordinated by W.S. Darley Co. You have a chance to win the equipment that is in these six compartments. The value of the equipment in each compartment is about $10,000. The total value of all the equipment is over $60,000. It is a great way to bring that equipment home to your department and support the families of the fallen firefighters.”
Johnson turned the event over to Bobby Williams, vice president of sales and marketing, to talk about the Pierce products at the booth. “Without question, the biggest news was yesterday’s unveiling of the all-new Saber and Enforcer custom chassis,” says Williams. Thursday’s event drew a huge crowd and the energy was visible.
“The redesigned Saber chassis is a very exciting enhancement to Pierce’s lineup of custom offerings. With the Saber’s history as the industry’s most popular custom chassis of all time, the all-new Saber is a very important product introduction that sets a new industry benchmark in the standard custom chassis category.”
A redesigned Saber was not all Pierce had to unveil. Moments after revealing the new Saber, Williams called for the curtain to drop around the truck Johnson referred to with the equipment in it. “Equally significant is the unveiling of Pierce’s new Enforcer chassis, one of our most popular chassis before the 2007 emission changes. The new Enforcer is the fire truck that offers more. Fire departments can select from a comprehensive list of body configurations, including aerials, PUC pump, rescues, and tankers,” says Williams. “In addition, the Enforcer is available with a long list of notable options, including TAK-4 independent front suspension, a DD13 big block engine, and multiplexed electronics—on a compact, medium-duty chassis.
FDIC 2014 features the largest contingent of apparatus the company has ever displayed here. “This is a year when our products are speaking for themselves,” says Williams. “We have 14 custom trucks on display in the Pierce booth at Lucas Oil Stadium alone. Among these are four aerials, including a Snozzle high reach extendable turret, a heavy-duty walk-in rescue, six pumpers—two of which are built on the new Saber chassis and one on the new Enforcer chassis—a PUC pumper, a commercial pumper built for international markets, and the new Oshkosh Storm ARFF vehicle. This is more than we’ve ever displayed in our long history at FDIC, and I really think it reflects our enthusiasm for the industry and our place in its future.”
All in One Place
FDIC is always a place fire service vendors choose to launch their new products. One reason is because of the opportunity it provides for suppliers and firefighters from around the world to gather in one place on an annual basis to see the newest innovations. “Firefighters need to see, touch, compare and experience the products and services they are considering for their department,” says Williams. “There is no better place to accomplish this than at FDIC. Not only can attendees inspect products side-by-side, they also have the opportunity to interact with the people behind the products and their fellow firefighters who use these products and services.”
Williams adds, “Members of the fire service—from around the country and around the globe—have limited opportunities to gather in one location to share best practices, hear excellent presentations, train together, and experience the widest selection of products and services all in one location. In a nutshell, that’s what FDIC is all about. Speaking on behalf of Pierce Manufacturing, we spend countless hours and invest a great deal preparing for FDIC because it’s an important venue for us to catch up on the latest news with our friends and colleagues.”
As far as what trends he expects to see emerge from this year’s show, Williams says, “We expect to see more new products and innovations throughout the industry. As the United States economy continues to grow and gain momentum, this translates into new technologies and more choices being made available to fire departments to improve their firefighting and emergency response operations. That’s always a good thing.”
By Chris Mc Loone