A peek behind the Darley curtain

America's oldest fire apparatus manufacturer examines its past and future

By Jean Murphy
The Chicago Daily Herald

ITASCA, Ill. — Mention the name "Darley" to virtually any firefighter in the world and you will find at least some spark of recognition. Itasca-based W.S. Darley & Co. is a major manufacturer and distributor of firefighting pumps, fire trucks and other firefighting apparatus which they market all over the world and, more recently, they have expanded into the manufacture and distribution of special operations equipment for the Department of Defense.

By constantly developing new products to their core customers and finding additional markets for their existing products, this family-owned firm is able to compete in an industry dominated by large, publicly-traded companies even though the core fire service market has diminished 50 percent since 2008, due to municipal budget cuts, said President and CEO Paul Darley.

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