Inside Darley March/April 2024

Hi, I’m Paul Darley. Thanks for tuning into our March and April release of Inside Darley. You know, spring is in the air here in Chicago and that means it’s time for our Spring/Summer issue of our Darley Times newsletter, which we’ve attached for you here.

You know, as we reported, Jeff Darley recently retired as COO. We’re excited to bring on Steve Fitzgerald or Fitz, as our new COO of our defense division. Fitz is just an amazing American and an amazing veteran. He ran a number of companies here in Chicago, and he’s going to really bring a great strategic advantage to Darley as we move forward into our defense markets.

We’re also going to be down at the FDIC in Indianapolis. That’s going to be from April 18th to the 20th. We’re going to be in booth 3557. That’s the same booth that we’ve been in for about the last 10 years. It’s going to be jam-packed with all sorts of new products. We’ve got some new electric portable pumps in there. We’ve got a new Honda Combustible EFI (electronic fuel injection) pumps in there, as well as a complete line of new European pumps that meet the DEN and EN standards. So, for our international customers, stop by and check that out. We’re going to have several EV fire solutions, from our blankets to EV plugs and other interesting products. And lastly, we’ll also have our new Ford Bronco, which is a command vehicle very similar to the one that was donated to the National Park Service last year.

This vehicle was just on display in Ford’s booth here at the Chicago Auto Show last month and it was alongside a 1928 Model T fire truck that W.S. Darley company built in 1926. And in fact, my grandfather brokered that deal about 100 years ago. It is the very first fire truck that we’ve ever manufactured, and it usually sits here in our showroom here in Chicago. So, if you have an opportunity, stop by and come see us.

We’ve also just got back from the FAMA 2024 spring meeting, that’s the Fire Apparatus Manufacturers Association, and it was very upbeat, and a lot of great news came from there about the industry demand for new fire apparatus. It continues to be robust. Historically, it ran about 4,400 trucks a year and in the last couple years, it’s been up around 6,500. The number of new orders in 2023 was down about 12% to about 5,600 new vehicles being ordered. But if you can imagine, some of these fire truck builders are quoting FY28 delivery times. So really, if you’re thinking about a new fire apparatus, now is the time to move on that.

There’s also a lot of talk about what we, as an industry and as individual companies, are doing to support the legislative issues for funding for the fire service, which include the FIRE Act grant, the SAFER grant, and other programs. Darley, along with other FAMA members, will be at Hill Day in Washington, DC. That’ll be April 29th through May 1st. And then here we’re going to have our Illinois Fire Service Home Day again. It’ll be our 18th annual Illinois Fire Service Home Day in June for those fire service customers, OEMs, and different distributors in the market.

We’ve attached the last three documents just for you as part of your strategic planning and the first is the U.S. Fire Administration strategic plan, so we encourage you to look at that. Second, the top DoD initiatives our customers are facing in 2024. And lastly, we’ve attached some articles related to CMMC, which is cyber compliance for defense contractors, and some interesting information there as well.

So, thanks for tuning into this issue of Inside Darley. If there’s anything we can do to support you, we hope you’ll reach out to us.


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