Category: Company News

The Hiller Companies’ Chuck Johnson Goes Above and Beyond

Chuck Johnson has a knack for being in the right place at the right time when people need help.

“I was driving on Highway 65 on the way to my next job when I saw a truck with a trailer in the northbound lane. It was on fire, so I stopped.”

Johnson is a General Products Technician for the Birmingham branch of The Hiller Companies, a fire protection company headquartered in Mobile, Alabama. He was able to quickly assess the situation and take action.

“By the time I stopped, the man was running in the middle of the road asking anyone if they had a fire extinguisher. I told him, ‘I got you’ and I passed him two extinguishers. I fed some to another man, and I took two,” Johnson said.

The driver of the truck indicated to Johnson that there was a propane tank on the trailer, and Johnson knew they had to move quickly.

“I think we used five extinguishers,” he said. “And the way the wind was blowing, it wasn’t hitting the fire. I kept telling the men to aim at the base of the fire. We were worried that a propane tank would explode, but we managed to keep it under control until the fire department showed up.”

Johnson believes if he hadn’t happened by, the situation could have been a whole lot worse before the fire department arrived.

“I am just glad I was there,” he said. “It is a good feeling to be able to provide a service. In any way I could help, I was willing to do it.”

Keith Carter, Operations Manager of the Birmingham branch of Hiller, said Johnson is one of their best performers.

“Chuck is one of our top technicians, and he always thinks of others – techs and customers alike – before he thinks of himself,” he said. “What he did for that person on the side of the road was a natural thing for him to do. It’s just who he is.”

This was not the first time Johnson has helped someone in trouble. A couple of years ago, during a drought, he came upon someone trying to put out a fire caused by a cigarette in a grassy area. He helped keep the fire from spreading until the fire department arrived.

And in the end, all’s well that ends well – as Johnson drove the same path to work the day after last week’s fire, he saw the Hiller extinguishers on the side of the road and was able to recover them and get them recharged.

The Hiller Companies offer fire protection products and services that are preserving lives and property all around the world. Headquartered in Mobile, Alabama, Hiller extends its reach globally as well as locally with offices in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Virginia. We are proud to safeguard everything from small businesses to nuclear power facilities, yachts to aircraft carriers, and gas stations to offshore platforms.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact

Keith Carter at 205-323-3338 or email at

The Hiller Companies Launches Teekay Emergency Repair Kit

The Hiller Companies, the exclusive distributor of Teekay Couplings in the United Sates, is excited to officially launch sales of our Teekay Emergency Repair Kits. The kit provides customers with a quick and easy way to repair pipes while staying on task and minimizing interruption while underway.

One of the most important goals when working in the oil/gas and marine industries is to avoid downtime.  Being taken off mission due to broken or damaged pipes can derail your work, cost thousands of dollars and add frustration to your crew’s morale.

“A boat that is tied up isn’t making any money. Loss of time is huge,” Marc Schwartz, Manager of Maintenance and Engineering for Tidewater Barge Lines, said. “I keep a stock of 3-4 kits and order several times a year.”

Teekay Emergency Repair Kits provide customized repair couplings of various sizes in addition to all necessary tools needed to install them on the spot. The repair couplings can act as a permanent fix or a temporary solution until a vessel is able to get back to the shipyard.

Repair couplings offer a permanent solution when pipes need to be cut and reassembled. Hinged couplings offer a temporary fix when pipes spring a leak and a ship is still underway.

“These kits allow you to do a field repair that keeps equipment operational,” Schwartz said. “You don’t have to yard out equipment, you don’t need welders, you don’t need a couple of guys on fire watch. It’s convenient. Anytime you can open the box and everything you need is in there, it’s great. It’s like going to Ikea.”

Jorda Elliot, Hiller Marine Products Manager, said the idea for the Emergency Repair Kit sprang from necessity.

“We were selling the couplings as parts and pieces when one of the icebreakers working in the arctic needed several sizes of couplings, we got the idea for the customized kits” he said. “We think it is a great option for vessels whose missions could be crippled by a leaking or burst pipe.”

The kit allows repairs to be conducted on site by anyone on the ship. Work is uninterrupted and unnecessary trips to the shipyard are avoided. Without the repair kit, welders and pipefitters would be needed to install and repair leaks. This could lead to lost time and money.

Each kit is custom designed to provide the size and number of couplings specific to each vessel. Everything from the tools, the couplings, and the cases are customized for specific requirements. Cases range from camera size to ice chest size.

“Because I have a fleet of inland tugs, we have our own maintenance facility, but if I were back out on ocean-going tugs and vessels, I would have a kit on every boat,” Schwartz said.

Kidde Recalls Fire Extinguishers with Plastic Handles

To whom it may concern:

As you may have heard, one of our suppliers, Kidde, has recalled their fire extinguishers with plastic handles due to failure to discharge and nozzle detachment.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the recall on November 2, 2017 noting the following: The fire extinguishers can become clogged or require excessive force to discharge and can fail to activate during a fire emergency. In addition, the nozzle can detach with enough force to pose an impact hazard.

Rest assured that The Hiller Companies does not currently distribute this fire extinguisher and we continue to take precautionary measures with all of our products to ensure they perform effectively in fire emergencies.

If you are concerned that you or someone you know is in possession of one of the recalled Kidde fire extinguishers, we encourage you to visit the CPSC website for additional details:

We would also like to take this opportunity to share some important reminders about the use and maintenance of fire extinguishers from the Fire Equipment Manufacturers’ Association. Please click here for more information:

Should you determine that you are indeed in possession of one of the recalled Kidde fire extinguishers, please do not hesitate to contact your Hiller representative or call us at 844-41-HILLER.


Patrick Lynch, President/ CEO
The Hiller Companies, Inc.

The Hiller Companies Announces the Purchase of the Ebacher Company Sprinkler Division

The Hiller Companies is excited to announce the purchase of the Sprinkler Division of the Amesbury, Massachusetts-based Ebacher Company, which was welcomed into the Hiller family on October 3, 2017.

“Hiller is fortunate to be experiencing a significant growth period, and we are very pleased to expand our offerings through the knowledge and experience provided by the highly capable and customer-focused employees at the Ebacher Company,” Hiller President Patrick Lynch said. “With Ebacher’s 40 years in the business, Hiller looks forward to being able to expand our services in the fire sprinkler sector by building on the outstanding reputation they have earned in the New England market.”

The Ebacher Company has served residential, commercial, government and school clients. The Sprinkler Division will remain under the Ebacher Fire Protection brand for now and continue to service new and existing customers backed by the strong support and experience of The Hiller Companies.

The acquisition of the Sprinkler Division of Ebacher allows Hiller to expand coverage and provide a broader range of services to all customers. As Hiller plans to maintain all of Ebacher’s management, staff and technicians from the Sprinkler Division, this transition will continue the dependable and professional services their customers have come to expect.

“We couldn’t be happier about our place on the Hiller team,” Kevin Palmer, Fire Sprinkler Systems Manager said. “We believe our sprinkler group will be a great asset to Hiller and, in turn, Hiller will offer our existing customers a strong foundation of experience steeped in almost 100 years in the fire protection industry.”

Hiller New England General Manager Jeffrey Kidd looks forward to working with Ebacher and its existing customers to ensure a seamless transition.

“The Ebacher Company’s sprinkler customers will see a continuation of the high-quality service and protection they have historically experienced,” Kidd said. “They will see the same faces and names and continue the valuable relationships they have built with the management and staff at Ebacher.”

Hiller Announces Corporate Partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters

Hiller President Patrick Lynch meets his Little Brother Jayden for the first time.

Employees at The Hiller Companies, from executives to administrative staff, are gearing up to be “Bigs” as Hiller forges its corporate partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters.

“We couldn’t be more excited to launch our relationship with the Big Brother Big Sister program,” Senior Vice President John Cocke said. “We, at Hiller, value our relationships with our communities, and this is a perfect way for us to get involved on both a personal and corporate level.  We are encouraging the employees at all of our offices to get involved. With 17 branches across the country, I think we can really make a difference.”

This past fall, Hiller invited Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Alabama, Inc. CEO and President Aimee Risser to a general managers meeting in Mobile to present the corporate program and host a question and answer session.

“This was the first time we have been invited to a meeting where general managers from across a company were present,” Risser said. “This is not a typical Big partner of ours, so it’s unique.  There is no mold for a company; it is the right people in leadership at the right time.  We can adjust the program to fit any industry.”

Risser said ten local Hiller Bigs are completing the enrollment process right now and several others are inquiring about it.

“That is the beauty of this program,” Risser said. “It is ongoing and never ending.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters offers two types of mentoring programs: community-based and school-based.  The community-based mentoring is the traditional Big Brother Big Sister relationship.  It serves children ages six to twelve and fosters one-on-one time spent with the volunteer doing things they enjoy in the community.

School-based mentoring is one-on-one mentoring with children who enroll between the ages of six to twelve. Mentoring support is provided until the Littles turn 18 or graduate high school. Bigs meet their Littles on school grounds during school hours for one hour each week during the academic year and keep in touch during the summer. There are currently 31 schools in Baldwin, Escambia, Mobile and Monroe counties who participate in the school-based program.

Hiller will participate in school-based mentoring, but Bigs will have the option to transition into a community-based relationship on a case-by-case basis.

Hiller President and CEO Patrick Lynch has participated in the community-based program before and is looking forward to seeing the difference Hiller can make in the lives of young people.

“Being a part of this program has changed my life,” Lynch said. “You get as much or more from the kids than they get from you.  I can’t wait to see how our employees not only impact these kids, but how the experience impacts our employees.  It is a great, mutually beneficial relationship.”

Hiller’s Pensacola General Manager Pete Whitehouse has been working diligently to get his office on board with Big Brothers Big Sisters.

“This partnership is positive for the company as a whole and for my branch,” Whitehouse said. “I believe it is something we can become invested in so that we are an impactful part of the community.  Building relationships is part of what we do in our work, and it should definitely be a part of what we do to give back.”

Risser pointed out just how much a company like Hiller can make a difference in the lives of their Littles.  National research shows that positive relationships between a Little and their Big has measurable impact when they are matched for at least a year:

  • 94% of Littles are more confident they will finish school
  • 96% of Littles felt socially accepted by their peers
  • 95% of Littles avoided risky behaviors
  • 94% of Littles improved academically

“We are so thrilled to have Hiller on our team,” Risser said. “At the heart of this, they have a willingness to positively impact our youth, and that is what makes our program work.  Hiller will be the first company we have worked with to successfully take Big Brothers Big Sisters into other markets with a company-wide campaign.”

“For a company to encourage its employees to take an hour each week of company time and mentor children is amazing,” Front Desk Receptionist Ruth Crawford, said. “It is gratifying to think I can make a difference in a child’s life. Knowing Hiller wants and encourages its employees to become Bigs makes me proud to be on their team.”


The Hiller Companies Announces Acquisition of American Fire Equipment Sales and Service Corporation

Mobile, AL – The Hiller Companies is pleased to announce that American Fire Equipment Sales and Service Corporation will be joining its team. The Hiller Companies offers fire protection and security products and services that are preserving lives and property all around the world. Hiller, headquartered in Mobile, Alabama, has branch offices from Houston to Boston and purchased American Fire on January 3, 2017.

Hiller prides itself on a strong foundation of experience steeped in almost 100 years in the fire protection industry coupled with the most modern service technology. By combining Hiller’s experience with the expertise of American Fire, Hiller is looking forward to expanding their service area in the western United States throughout Arizona, Utah, Nevada and surrounding areas.

“American Fire has been a leader in the Fire Protection Industry for 25 years”, Hiller Companies CEO Patrick Lynch said. “As a veteran-owned business, we respect the ideals and integrity on which American Fire was founded. We welcome the American Fire employees to the Hiller team and look forward to leveraging the strengths of these two premier organizations to deliver even more value for our customers.”

American Fire serves customers in Phoenix, Yuma, Tucson, Show-Low, Pinetop and Lakeside, Arizona as well as in Reno, Nevada, Price Utah and surrounding areas.  With a focus on mining, telecommunication, power generation, data centers and the health care industry, American Fire serves clients such as Go Daddy, Banner Hospitals, and Verizon.

“We are very confident that Hiller will continue the tradition of excellence we are known for in the fire protection industry,” former owner Ann Papuga said. “Hiller’s breadth of experience will usher in a new era for our customers by expanding available resources and offerings.”

John Papuga, former owner of American Fire, will continue as General Manager under Hiller’s ownership.

“The team at American Fire has committed themselves not only to quality products and services but also to a progressive perspective in fire protection,” John Papuga said. “We have worked to create an environmentally friendly, sustainable company.  We know Hiller shares that goal, and we look forward to continuing to implement green solutions for the company and our customers. This is a really great time to be on the Hiller team, and we look forward to continued growth and expansion.”


If you would like more information about this topic, please contact John Mackey at 251-661-1275 or email at

The Hiller Companies Announces Acquisition of Standard Fire Equipment

Mobile, AL – The Hiller Companies is pleased to announce that Standard Fire Equipment will be joining its team. The Hiller Companies offers fire protection and security products and services that are preserving lives and property all around the world. Hiller, headquartered in Mobile, Alabama, has ten branch offices from Houston to Boston and purchased Standard Fire Equipment on December 1, 2016.

Hiller prides itself on a strong foundation of experience steeped in almost 100 years in the fire protection industry coupled with the most modern service technology. By combining Hiller’s experience with the expertise of Standard Fire Equipment, Hiller is looking forward to expanding their service area in Birmingham and throughout the state of Alabama.

“Standard Fire is a quality service company with a strong reputation in the marketplace.” Hiller Companies President and CEO Patrick Lynch said. “The addition of this team into Hiller’s operation creates a comprehensive fire protection offering for our customers in the Birmingham market. I welcome their employees to our team and look forward to an exciting future.”

Standard Fire Equipment serves more than 3,500 customers from the heavy industrial to light commercial industries in central Alabama.   A family-run business, Standard Fire Equipment has built an outstanding reputation for reliable products and excellent customer service.  Hiller plans to maintain all of Standard Fire Equipment’s management, staff and technicians to ensure continuity of the dependable and professional service they are known for.

“We are very excited to become a part of The Hiller Companies,” former owner Ken Stalnaker said. “This is a new era for our customers and they will benefit tremendously from the resources, knowledge and experience Hiller brings to the table.”

Hiller General Manager Pete Whitehouse believes that the breadth of experience of Hiller and Standard Fire Equipment combined is something special.

“Standard Fire Equipment has a solid reputation and is a great group of people to work with,” he said. “They have served the Birmingham and central Alabama markets for more than 50 years, and we look forward to continuing their outstanding tradition of customer service and fire protection.  Now is really a great time for Hiller and we look forward to our continued growth and expansion.”

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact John Mackey at 251-661-1275 or email at

The Hiller Companies: Exclusive Distributor of Teekay Couplings in U.S.


Mobile, AL. – The Hiller Companies is proud to be the exclusive distributor of Teekay Couplings in the United States.  Teekay Couplings provide space, weight, time and cost savings with each and every installation.

“Teekay Systems have a superior design that is uniform whether they are working with a Navy combatant ship or on an offshore supply vessel.” Hiller Marine Products Manager Jorda Elliot said. “These couplings offer a simple and cost effective solution for pipe joining without the need for flanging, grooving, threading or welding. Our customers around the country have been very happy with the Teekay Coupling Systems.”

Hiller carries the two configurations of couplings offered by Teekay, Axilock and Axiflex. The Axilock version is for axially restrained piping and has two metallic anchor rings that dig into the pipe wall when the coupling is installed.  This prevents the two pipes from pushing apart under pressure or pulling away under end-load.

The Axilock Fire Proof Coupling is a new offering which features a patented, internal fire sleeve that cannot be lost damaged or removed.  It exceeds expected changes to IACS P2 regulations with room to spare for the future.

The Axiflex is for non-axially restrained pipes.  This configuration joins pipes already anchored.  The pipeline forces do not have to be contained by the coupling, and therefore, diameters up to 180” are possible using Axiflex.

Each coupling configuration consists of a casing, a gasket and locking parts.  The purpose of the casing is to house the gasket and to press it onto the pipe surface when the locking parts are closed.  The lock parts are designed to pull the two ends of the casing together circumferentially around the pipe.  In order to achieve this, the coupling is labeled clearly with a torque figure, which ensures that the gasket is compressed sufficiently against the pipe surface.

A common phrase used by shipyard installation technicians to describe the easy Teekay Couplings installation is “two pipes, two screws, two minutes!”

Teekay Couplings have been sold for more than three decades in over 85 countries worldwide for civil, water, oil & gas, marine, building service, process, automotive and countless other industrial projects for pipes between ¾” and 180” in diameter.

For more information, visit or

Jeffrey Kidd announced as General Manager of Hiller New England


Wilmington, MA. – “I have the best job in the world. I am a solutions provider, and it’s really fun. I love getting up on Monday and getting to work, and I don’t mind working on a Saturday or Sunday.”

These words from the new General Manager of Hiller New England are a testament to his love of The Hiller Companies and his continuation of a family tradition. Jeffrey Kidd took the helm at Hiller New England on June 1 of this year after the retirement of Peter Hanson with whom he worked closely.

“Peter took over as General Manager from my father, so it was a natural progression for me,” Kidd said. “I worked with Peter and helped him with management, so it has been an easy and seamless transition.”

Kidd noted his father was in the fire protection industry since the 1960s and was a founding member of the Fire Suppression Systems Association (FSSA).

“My father started the Hiller New England Branch 20 years ago this November with me,” Kidd said. “I have been around this industry all 50 years of my life. From the age of 7 or 8, I would go to trade shows. As I got older, I worked on site and went around filling fire extinguishers.”

Kidd is a graduate of Wentworth Institute of Technology with a degree in Electronic Engineering Technology and is a NICET Level IV engineering professional certified in special hazard fire suppression systems design.

Hiller New England specializes in the protection of IT/computer rooms, commercial operations and large industrial manufacturing operations. They also supply fire protection products to large military and government-based companies.

As the new General Manager, Jeff has a clear vision of the future of Hiller New England.

“I am committed to two things,” he said. “One, our staff. I want to help them grow and advance in their careers. Two, growing our branch. It is exciting times in New England and there is a lot of growth. I hope to position us in a proactive stance to grow with our business and our reputation that we have worked hard to build.”

Kidd is very active and involved in the FSSA and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). He represents Hiller on the FSSA Technical Committee and the NFPA Standard for Gaseous Fire Suppression Systems, Foam Systems, and Laboratory’s Containing Chemicals Technical Committee. He also represents the FSSA on the NFPA 45 Laboratories Containing Chemicals Technical Committee and the NFPA II Technical Committee on Foam.

“I spend a lot of time and extra hours doing work for these groups, but it pays back 10-fold,” Kidd said. “I work with the finest minds in the world on these committees, and our customers benefit from the cutting edge technology and information. We know what the future is and where it is going. Having this knowledge is valuable to the end user and the engineering and specifications communities at Hiller.”

Kidd noted that the wealth of knowledge these organizations provide and the friendships he has cultivated by participating have allowed him to grow the business across the country and even globally. He was able to establish a team for work in Arizona through his contacts in the FSSA who helped him connect with industry experts there. Having these contacts opens up a lot of possibilities for new contracts no matter where the job is located, he added.

“We can offer turnkey solutions by combining our expertise and working closely with other Hiller branches. I have helped align the complementary expertise between our branches, and I want to do more of that. I like to think of one Hiller rather than 12 Hiller branches. For example, I am not a marine guy, but I know people who are, and so I can put together a job sharing their expertise,” Kidd said. “I know we can work together to combine experience and assets. Hiller is bigger and better than where we started, and we are really excited for where things are headed.”

The Hiller Companies Announces New Hose Reel USCG Approval


Mobile, AL –  The Hiller Companies is proud to announce its USCG approval of their Hose Reels to include SOLBERG® ARCTIC™ 3×3% ATC™ foam. While Hiller has partnered with Solberg on other foam options, adding this Foam Fire Fighting Station approval offers customers a third manufacturer to supply the devices in addition to ANSUL® and National Foam.

“We have partnered with Solberg on other foam products,” Marine Products Manager Jorda Elliot said. “We are excited to work with them and strengthen our relationship because they offer a strong fire-fighting foam product portfolio, including environmentally friendly RE-HEALING™ foams.”

There are not many foam manufacturers, especially manufacturers of marine foam, so getting this approval is a welcome addition to Hiller’s marine offerings, according to Elliot.

In May 2012, ARCTIC AFFF and ATC foam product lines became C6 fluorochemical based, making Solberg the first foam manufacturer in the Americas to offer commercially available foam concentrates that are compliant to the 2015 U.S. EPA PFOA Product Stewardship Program.

The Foam Fire Fighting station was designed by Herbert S. Hiller and is a reliable system capable of controlling fires and spills of flammable and combustible liquids.  One person can fully operate the device with the necessary speed and effectiveness to deliver foam to the required area in an emergency.  This self-contained unit requires only water pressure to operate and is designed for installation in a fixed location such as processing, storage or handling areas.

ARCTIC 3×3% ATC foam concentrate is an extremely effective firefighting foam for flame knockdown, fire control, extinguishment, and burn-back resistance” said Mitch Hubert, Vice President Global Product Development.  “Control, extinguishing time, and burn-back resistance are paramount to the safety of firefighters everywhere.  ARCTIC 3×3% ATC foam concentrate has shown excellent performance in each of these categories.”

“With a limited number of manufacturers offering marine foam, adding another strong business partner, like Solberg, helps us meet our clients’ needs in a timely and cost effective manner,” Elliot said. “We couldn’t be happier to add Solberg to our team.”