One Of A Kind - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

One Of A Kind

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It is the only business of its kind in Illinois. The Alexis Fire Equipment Company builds fire trucks. It has been a part of that small, rural community since 1947. Gene Morrris started the company and now his son Jeff is the president.

It's a high tech operation. Computer programmed machinery cuts the aluminum and designs the units. Welding, wiring, painting, and decal work are part of the process. The company makes or rebuilds 75-80 fire trucks a year. The most modern weigh about 68 thousand pounds.

Company President Jeff Morris says fire trucks these days are equipped with computerized parts. Each rig has to meet EPA emission standards.

The company sells trucks to volunteer and full time fire departments throughout North America. Custom built. No two alike. Pumpers, tankers, and ladder trucks.

Dan Reese is the company general manager. He says the employees understand that the finished product has to work every time, all the time, in a business where seconds could make the difference between life or death.   

Also on display is a steam pumper. A fire truck built more than one hundred years ago and pulled by horses. The Alexis company restored it and owns it. It's a beauty.

The Alexis Fire Equipment Company has made trucks for Bettendorf, LeClaire, Orion, Sherrard, and the Black Hawk Fire District.