Hale Fire Equipment Co. - Hale Fire Pump Co. - 1914-present - Conshohocken, Pennsylvania
Hale totally enclosed fire truck (late 1930s)
Motivated by the desire to develop a fire pump which would improve fire protection, Alan C. Hale, E. J. Wendell, and C. H. Young, Jr. formed Hale Fire Pump Company in 1914. The three founders were all members of the Radnor, Pa. fire department which had, in 1906, purchased the first motorized pumper in America. Through their involvement in the Radnor Fire Department, the three men believed that the key to building a better pump lay in taking advantage of improving gasoline engine designs.
Hale, Wendell, and Young designed and built their first pump in 1914. Christened the "Young Giant" and mounted on a Simplex chassis, the new pump made its first appearance at the Wayne Opera House fire where it operated for six consecutive hours, proving its superiority over existing pumps.
During World War 1, pump production was interrupted while the company focused on production of defense equipment. In 1920, Hale® was back in the pump business with the development of a triple combination pumper mounted on a Model "T" Ford. Named the "Minute Man" it met with immediate success. Mounting success in the 1930's lead to the development of a centrifugal pump. During this period, Hale not only built their own fire apparatus, but also supplied pumps to other apparatus manufacturers.
During World War II, the orders for pumps shot up from 1000 in 1939 to over 30,000, largely due to war orders from the British fire service, Navy and Coast Guard. At this time, Hale also developed a foam proportioner for the government for application of foam on oil tank fires. For its outstanding production during the war, Hale Fire Pump Company and its employees received the "E" award from the Army and Navy.
In 1942, Hale ceased production of fire apparatus and concentrated on building pumps for the fire service. Continuous growth lead to expanded facilities and in 1952, the company built a new plant devoted entirely to assembly, sheet metal, welding operations, and pump testing procedures. Throughout this period, Hale's innovative thrust solidified the company's position as the world's leading manufacturer of fire pumps. In 1958, the company introduced two new series of large centrifugal pumps which provided up to 1500 GPM.
Searching for new opportunities for growth, Hale acquired the Hurst Jaws of Life® line of rescue tools in 1984. Developed originally for the extrication of race car drivers, the Jaws of Life became the preferred rescue tool of fire and rescue departments as well as the military. Today, more than 30,000 Hurst units are in use worldwide. Further expansion of the Hurst product line was accomplished in 1992 with the introduction of a revolutionary line of high pressure rescue airbags. Continuous development of the product line continues in both the pneumatic and hydraulic areas as the Company strives to provide the finest, most reliable rescue products to its customers.
Additional product lines to meet the needs of the fire and rescue services continue to be introduced. In 1987, Hale launched the Typhoon line of Positive Pressure Ventilators. Designed for fire service and hazmat use, the Typhoon Water turbine blower is the only ventilator which is UL approved for hazardous environments.
Hale has pioneered the application of compressed air foam technology. Although Compressed Air Foam Systems (CAFS)had been in use sporadically by the fire service during the 1980's, and Hale built one of the first CAFS units for the U. S. Navy during World War II, Hale's CAFSMaster offers the first integrated, reliable, safe and easy to operate system. Combining the Hale FoamMaster foam proportioning system, a Hale HVC compressor with a Hale fire pump and state of the art technology, the company has developed the first total system approach for compressed air foam technology.
In 1992, Hale joined with the UK based Godiva Group of Manufacturing companies to form Hale Products Inc. Godiva, formed in 1937, produces truck mount, custom, diesel, and portable pumps to exacting European standards. In addition to augmenting and solidifying Hale's distributor network, the Godiva Group will contribute its technology and expertise to further support international expansion efforts.
Recently, Hale joined with LUKAS Gmbh, a German manufacturer of rescue tools, rerailing equipment, and hydraulic equipment. This union will give Hale a stronghold in rescue equipment in Europe where LUKAS is a predominant manufacturer of hydraulic rescue equipment.
With the formation of Hale Products Europe, and Hale Products Asia, the company has committed more resources to serving the important European and Asian markets. As the company continues its expansion, Hale remains committed to providing innovative, quality products to its customers worldwide.
In 1994, Hale was acquired by IDEX Corporation. IDEX is a manufacturer of proprietary fluid handling equipment. Other IDEX units include Strippet, Warren Rupp, Lubriquip, and Viking Pump. The synergy created from this acquisition will enable Hale Products Inc. to expand its position as the world's leading provider of emergency services equipment in applications such as defense, rescue, firefighting, and industry. With well-know trademarks such as Jaws of Life® , Hale® Pumps, Hurst®, FoamMasterä and CAFSMaster® , products manufactured by Hale have a high recognition for dependability and quality.
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