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 grew rapidly.

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 devoted.

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 industry.

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