SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) -- In an emergency, they have to be fast, loud, and easy to see. A South Haven company is building new fire trucks and repairing old ones for cities around the Midwest.
As children, Quintin Spencer and his brother Grant never played with toy fire trucks. "A real fire truck, that's what we played with," says Grant Spencer, General Manager of Spencer Manufacturing.
The company started in their father's single vehicle garage, more than 25 years ago. "He was on the fire department and he was repairing cement trucks and fire trucks at the time," says Spencer.
Now, Spencer Manufacturing repairs fire trucks for cities around the Midwest and builds new ones from scratch.
"The city of Pittsburgh is a big city we're in that most people know, and the city of Holland, Michigan," says Spencer. "We want to do what we're doing to build a great product for the fire department to help people and save peoples' lives."
Spencer produces about 25 fire trucks every year and with local government budgets getting tighter, they have to do to it more efficiently than ever.
Each fire truck has its alarm, water pump, and speed tested.
Right now, the company has 17 employees with a variety of specialized skills.
"It's always nice to have a company that's more of a local business that does things like this, instead of outsourcing to larger corporations, it helps the state quite a bit," says Matt Johnson, an electrician for Spencer Manufacturing.
"We have a lot of skilled guys from Michigan, I think Michigan is a leader in skilled trades," says Spencer.
The company is now hiring a couple more employees for anyone who wants to help firemen save lives.
"We have the easy job compared to the fireman," says Spencer.
Spencer Manufacturing says their fire trucks range in price from $300,000 to $500,000.