Gene Morris built his first two trucks while employed at Ashland
Oil Company in Ashland, Kentucky. After six years with Ashland,
he decided to use the experience he had gained to begin his
own business. In 1945, Gene returned to his hometown of Alexis,
Illinois, and opened a small welding and fabrication shop.
He noticed the fire engines he repaired in his shop were poorly
built and knew he could build a higher quality truck.
In 1947, Alexis Fire Equipment Company was born. The original
facility employed four men and could accommodate only three
to four units at a time. Gene discovered a market opportunity
in rural Illinois and Iowa for his product. With dedication,
pure hard work, and extensive traveling, Alexis Fire Equipment
In 1963, an addition was built which doubled the manufacturing
capacity and enlarged the office space. In 1974, another addition
was built for truck fabrication. The original building was
then converted to a parts warehouse and support facility.
Alexis Fire Equipment thrived in the mid-70s, at the height
of federal revenue sharing. In 1989, the company evolved again
and began to specialize in the manufacturing and service aspects
of the business, which contributed to company growth along
with sharpened marketing efforts.
Family dedication is the foundation for the successful operation
of Alexis Fire Equipment. Jeff Morris, son of Gene Morris,
started working at Alexis while attending Bradley University.
After graduation, he became Alexis Fire Equipment's chief
engineer, providing education to his fellow employees and
customers. Jeff, now president of the company, has a great
deal of gratitude to his father. "I'm managing the company
now, but the credit goes to Dad for building this business."
The company that began with Gene and his family has grown
into a multilevel corporation with an ever-expanding staff
of dedicated employees and skilled craftsmen. Since Alexis
Fire Equipment opened their doors in 1947, pride has prevailed
in both the positive attitude of employees and the quality
of their workmanship. Even with the company's significant
growth over the years, Alexis Fire Equipment continues to
provide their customers with a personal, family atmosphere
to which the Morris family and Alexis employees are
Over the years, Alexis Fire Equipment has maintained the vital
tradition of providing superior quality equipment and service
excellence to the fire and rescue industry a business
based on the protection, preservation and safety of human
life. The company tradition, which began when Gene Morris
opened the doors in 1945, is a commitment to provide Alexis
customers and employees a feeling of comfort and security.
The same feeling one has when they are with family.
Alexis customers are people not numbers. As Alexis
Fire Equipment continues to evolve and grow, they look forward
to their customers, both old and new, stopping by for a visit.
With an open-door policy, fire and rescue squads from communities
all over frequently stop in for a cup of coffee, to listen
to stories, and to see the latest trucks being built.
Throughout the years, Alexis Fire Equipment has experienced
tremendous growth and expansion. While the company has evolved
technologically with the times, its values remain unchanged.
The foundation of dedication, hard work, and quality products
upon which the Morris family built the business, is the same
structure the 'Alexis family'continues to build upon today.
What started out as a four-man operation building trucks for
local fire departments, has evolved into a fire and rescue
business that encompasses the entire nation. Over the course
of fifty years, Alexis has made numerous improvements in the
company itself, while continuing both their employees'and
customers'education as technology advances. Alexis Fire Equipment
has never just been a company that builds standard fire trucks.
Each fire and rescue vehicle that has rolled out of its doors
over the last fifty years is a custom-built machine created
by the finest engineers and craftsmen with the most current
technology available. Automated machinery, computer-aided
equipment, modular building, continued physical expansion,
and the drive to build truly remarkable, one-of-a-kind, customized
machines from the ground up, will enable Alexis to remain
in the forefront of the rapidly changing fire and rescue apparatus
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