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Press Releases


The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and Pierce Manufacturing announced the 2016 winners of the annual “Fire Chief of the Year” awards at Fire-Rescue International. Volunteer Fire Chief, Willard H. “Bill” Halmich, of the Washington Volunteer Fire Company in Washington, Missouri, and career Fire Chief, Harry Beck, of the Mesa Fire and Medical Department in Mesa, Arizona are this year’s recipients.

Appleton, Wis. (August 16, 2016)  The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and Pierce Manufacturing Inc., an Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE: OSK) company, today announced the 2016 winners of the annual “IAFC Fire Chief of the Year” awards at Fire-Rescue International (FRI) in San Antonio, Texas. Volunteer Fire Chief, Willard H. “Bill” Halmich, of the Washington Volunteer Fire Company in Washington, Missouri, and career Fire Chief, Harry Beck, of the Mesa Fire and Medical Department (MFMD) in Mesa, Arizona, are this year’s recipients.

Winners (selected by a committee appointed by the IAFC) are honored for their leadership, innovation, professional development, integrity and contributions to the fire service as a whole. Sponsored by Pierce, the 21st annual awards will be presented on August 18 during FRI’s general session at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas.

“Every year, I look forward to learning who the IAFC committee has chosen for these incredible honors,” said Jim Johnson, Oshkosh Corporation executive vice president and president of the Fire & Emergency segment and Pierce Manufacturing. “Both Chief Harry Beck and Chief Bill Halmich remind us all of the extraordinary impact that truly outstanding leaders have on the communities they serve, as well as on the advancement of the fire service. All of us at Pierce congratulate Chiefs Beck and Halmich!”


Career Fire Chief Honoree – Harry Beck, of the Mesa Fire and Medical Department in Mesa, Arizona

Chief Harry Beck, who has devoted more than 40 years to fire and emergency services, began his career with the Phoenix Fire Department where he rose through the ranks to the position of Deputy Fire Chief. He joined MFMD, located in the nation’s 38th largest city, as fire chief in 2003. Known as a progressive team builder and innovator, Chief Beck’s accomplishments with MFMD are far reaching, and reflect a leadership style that fosters empowerment and collaboration. As chief, he established a five-year strategic vision that guided the department through financial challenges during the Great Recession. Chief Beck led efforts in developing innovative processes – through partnering with health services organizations – to deliver fire service-based EMS that has set an example for the state of Arizona, and which has the potential to revolutionize it on a national basis. Through this process, Chief Beck was able to secure a multi-year Healthcare Innovation Grant totaling $12.5 million to enable MFMD to expand programs to provide more efficient and effective emergency response for those who call 911 for help. He coordinated with the United Mesa Fire Fighters to lead the development and implementation of improved services for first responders, including PTSD awareness, life stress and addiction awareness, and resiliency training. Earlier this year, Chief Beck secured funding for a new MFMD Dispatch Center and City Emergency Operations Center. Recognition for outstanding efforts include the Congressional Fire Services Institute Excellence in Fire Service-Based EMS Award, Telly Awards for Public Education Programming and Automatic Aid Education, and an Emmy Award for Drowning Awareness and Prevention. Chief Beck is an active member of the NFPA, the IAFC, and the Arizona Fire Chiefs Association. He serves on multiple boards, including the Mountain Vista Medical Center and Life Safety Council, and is an Advisory Board member for the East Valley ACS Relay for Life. Known for having an open mind and being an excellent listener, Chief Beck exemplifies the characteristics of a true leader worthy of Fire Chief of the Year.


Volunteer Fire Chief Honoree – Willard H. “Bill” Halmich, of the Washington Volunteer Fire Company in Washington, Missouri

Chief Bill Halmich – a 50-year member of the Washington Volunteer Fire Company – knows a thing or two about loyalty. Chief since 1981, Halmich has served his community, country, and fire department as a leader, motivator, and consummate professional. Under his leadership, Washington Volunteer Fire Company became the first in Missouri to achieve an ISO Class 3 rating. Chief Halmich has served on the National Near-Miss Advisory Board since its inception, with his department being a pilot case. His ability to manage large-scale incidents, along with his familiarity with (and service as area coordinator for) Missouri Fire Mutual Aid System make him ideally suited in his service as Incident Commander for Missouri’s Region C Incident Support Team. Appointed by the governor to represent the fire service on planning and preparations for hazardous materials incidents, Chief Halmich also co-chairs the Haz-Mat Training Committee. He previously served on the governor’s Fire Education Commission, which oversees firefighter training programs statewide to deliver effective, safe, and cost-effective fire service training. In his home county, Chief Halmich chairs the Franklin County Homeland Security Response Team, and works with the St. Louis Area Regional Response System to acquire standardized Haz-Mat equipment and continued funding. Chief Halmich is a charter member and proud supporter of the IAFC’s Volunteer and Combination Officers Section, providing chief officers with the information, education, services, and representation to enhance their professionalism. Chief Halmich’s community service does not end with the Washington Volunteer Fire Company. He serves as a governor-appointed member of the Missouri Emergency Response Commission; City of Washington Missouri River Bridge Committee; the Capital Improvement Sales Tax Committee for the City of Washington (three terms); and the committee appointed to acquire enhanced 911 for Washington, Missouri. Chief Halmich is a Vietnam Combat Veteran, and a member of the American Legion, Elks Lodge, and local VFW Post 2661. He is the recipient of the German Fire Service Medal for International Cooperation. Chief Halmich represents a career devoted to the fire service on a local, regional, national and international level.

Posted: Aug 16, 2016 3:00:00 PM by Pierce Mfg.

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About Pierce Manufacturing
Pierce Manufacturing Inc., an Oshkosh Corporation [NYSE: OSK] company, is the leading North American manufacturer of custom fire apparatus, including custom and commercial pumpers, aerials, rescue trucks, wildland trucks, minipumpers, elliptical tankers, and homeland security apparatus. In addition, Pierce designs its own foam systems and was the first company to introduce frontal airbags and the Side Roll Protection system to fire apparatus. Pierce markets its products through the industry’s largest and most comprehensive dealer and service network. The company enjoys a nationwide web of dealerships with over 600 certified and factory trained Service Brigade technicians and over 50 service centers. Visit piercemfg.com to learn more about Pierce.

About Oshkosh Corporation
Founded in 1917, Oshkosh Corporation is 100 years strong and continues to make a difference in people’s lives. Oshkosh brings together a unique set of integrated capabilities and diverse end markets that, when combined with the Company’s MOVE strategy and positive long-term outlook, illustrate why Oshkosh is a different integrated global industrial.  The Company is a leader in designing, manufacturing and servicing a broad range of access equipment, commercial, fire & emergency, military and specialty vehicles and vehicle bodies under the brands of Oshkosh®, JLG®, Pierce®, McNeilus®, Jerr-Dan®, Frontline™, CON-E-CO®, London® and IMT®.

Today, Oshkosh Corporation is a Fortune 500 Company with manufacturing operations on four continents. Its products are recognized around the world for quality, durability and innovation, and can be found in more than 150 countries around the globe.  As a different integrated global industrial, Oshkosh is committed to making a difference for team members, customers, shareholders, communities and the environment. For more information, please visit oshkoshcorporation.com.

®, TM All brand names referred to in this news release are trademarks of Oshkosh Corporation or its subsidiary companies.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains statements that the Company believes to be “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical fact, including, without limitation, statements regarding the Company’s future financial position, business strategy, targets, projected sales, costs, earnings, capital expenditures, debt levels and cash flows, and plans and objectives of management for future operations, are forward-looking statements. When used in this press release, words such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “intend,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “should,” “project” or “plan” or the negative thereof or variations thereon or similar terminology are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors, some of which are beyond the Company’s control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.

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