Focus on life

First Posted: 1/9/2015

VAN WERT — Quality is important to Braun Industries, Inc. in Van Wert, because lack of quality could mean losing a life.

The company, located at 1170 Production Dr., Van Wert, has been making ambulances for almost 43 years and is the “premier ambulance builder in the country,” said Chad Brown, vice president of sales and marketing at Braun.

The company’s motto is “built for life.”

“If we fail, we know that could impact somebody’s life,” he said. “We build custom, premium ambulances and make sure it is going to be 100 percent.”

The company provides ambulances to some of the bigger cities in the country, all from its 115,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Van Wert.

“We have an impact in saving somebody’s life, and it can be anywhere in the country,” Brown said.

American Township Fire Department has been using the ambulances since 2007, and Deputy Fire Chief Keith Brickner said they are very well built and quality.

“They’re very sturdily built to absorb an impact,” he said.

The company’s approximately 230 employees work each day to design, engineer and build custom ambulances for its more than 1,000 customers.

Employees range from welders, fabricators and electrical engineers to painters and body workers, Brown said.

The company requires its employees to have a high school diploma or equivalent, depending on the position, said Wendy Sharp, human resources coordinator at Braun, though experience is valued, and a college degree is required for engineers.

“We’re looking for someone who has the same aspirations as the company,” she said. “We’re a quality-based company. We focus on meeting and exceeding the expectations of our customers.”

American Township Fire Department has noticed the company’s emphasis on quality.

“We used to get three to five years out of an ambulance,” Brickner said. “We’ve gotten seven out of these, and we’re hoping to get 10.”

Braun will replace chassis while revamping the ambulance box, saving the department $30,000 per ambulance when it comes time to get a new one.

“We’ve referred several different fire departments in Allen County to Braun,” Brickner said.

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