BY: CAROL CURTIS, CIC, BRANCH MANAGER SHERMAN, FA PEABODY INSURANCE
Even before starting K&T Fire Equipment in 1991, Tom York had a hand for mechanical work. During high school, Tom spent a summer in Yellowstone National Park with the forest service helping to fight forest fires and later worked for the Maine Forest Service. Through the years, Tom has held jobs in other fields. He worked as an over the road truck driver for a time and held a position for several years as a service manager at an automotive dealership. At one point he worked for the Great Northern Paper Company as a multi-craft training co-coordinator.
Tom’s uncle, Ken Prescott, worked for another fire equipment company and initially introduced Tom to the fire equipment industry. In 1991, Tom formed a company with a goal of high quality and custom built fire equipment to the area. The industry is demanding and not one which should be jumped into lightly, and Tom knew that. With Ken’s help, they steadily built up a customer base and began selling and assembling quality products for their clients. Ken has since passed; however, his spirit lives on in the work that Tom and his family do. Tom’s sons Jeremy and Patrick have since joined the business and the close-knit family environment has been a strong driving force behind the growth of the company.
The products that Tom and his business build are not isolated to Maine. They also serve many other markets in the east, including New York, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Vermont, among others. Their builds and sales are most often geared towards municipal markets.The market for municipal sales, though smaller than a large open market, is actually a benefit for K & T. It allows tailoring of products to specific needs and opens the door for relationship building. Those relationships have grown into satisfied, repeat customers over their 25 years in business.
Through the years, K&T has managed to stay ahead of the curve in terms of both innovation and fabrication. They strive for improvement at every step, even going so far as to have purchased a new polypropylene welder for use in the fabrication of their own water tanks for outfitting trucks. Once they sell a chassis, they custom build and fabricate everything that goes inside, allowing for extensive customization. This includes a spring loaded frame to compensate for the weight of the equipment on board. They also provide on-site service with an on the road service vehicle for customer’s needs that can be met without having to transport equipment to the K & T facility.
Strict attention to details, quality materials, and the utilization of the newest technologies in the field have allowed K&T to maintain a leading position in the fire equipment industry. The level of their expertise and the consistency in the products that they produce has led to decades long customers in many cases.
Tom and his team are creating products to perform a serious job, save lives. Ultimately, K & T provides equipment and servicing that you can take into the fire with you, both literally and metaphorically.
Carol Curtis, Branch Manager/Sales Agent of F. A. Peabody Company, is the Agent for K& T Fire Equipment.