Spotlight: Bullard providing the highest quality products to keep firefighters safe in the most hazardous environment
The company's main focus is to stand committed to our vision of advancing human safety to enable long, healthy, productive lives through innovative solutions
Company Name: Bullard
Headquarters: Cynthiana, KY
1. Where did your company name originate from?
Last name of the founder, Edward Dickinson Bullard.
2. What was the inspiration behind starting your company?
Bullard traces its heritage back to 1898, a time of great opportunity in the western United States. Founded in San Francisco by Edward Dickinson Bullard, the company originally supplied carbide lamps and other mining equipment to gold and copper miners in California, Nevada and Arizona. When his son, E.W. Bullard, returned from World War I, he combined his understanding of customer needs and his experience with his doughboy army helmet to design a protective headgear for miners. This “Hard Boiled®” hat, introduced in 1919, represented the first of many innovative designs that have led Bullard to its prominent position in head protection for industrial and emergency response applications.
3. Why do you believe your products are essential to the fire community?
Bullard was the first company to introduce a fire fighting-specific thermal imager in 1998. The imagers we design and build are robust, reliable tools to help aid firefighters in the most effective ways to fight a fire. From finding the most dangerous spots in a fire to detecting a person who may be caught in harm’s way, our imagers are a life-saving tool.
Bullard fire helmets have provided innovations to the fire service for decades and are known for their high-quality durability and incredible comfort. The Bullard fire helmet line is expansive, ranging from structural, ARFF, wildland, to search-and-rescue applications.
4. What has been the biggest challenge your company has faced?
Like many companies, COVID-19 has created unique challenges. Bullard is proud of the way our company has responded to this pandemic by increasing our capacity to supply PPE products to workers on the frontlines. Our commitment is to our customers first and this pandemic has helped us realize how flexible our workforce can be by shifting priorities and focusing on the much needed respiratory products for our first responders and healthcare workers.
5. What makes your company unique?
We are proud to be a fifth-generation family-owned company that was founded in 1898. In today’s marketplace, it is rare to find a 122-year-old company. We have remained relevant and competitive in the emergency responder and industrial health and safety industries because of our commitment to diversifying our product lines and always staying true to developing the most innovative and robust products for our customers. Today our company is led by President and CEO Wells Bullard, who stands committed to our vision of advancing human safety to enable long, healthy, productive lives through innovative solutions. Bullard specializes in providing safety equipment to various industries including respiratory protection, industrial head and face protection, fire helmets, and thermal imaging.
6. What do your customers like best about you and your products?
Bullard tough is a mantra you will often hear when discussing our products. Our products are overengineered to ensure they perform in the most extreme situations and have incredible reliability.
Bullard prides itself on being close to the customer, willing to take on custom projects to provide the solutions our customers need to remain safe.
7. What is the most rewarding part of serving the first responder community?
Knowing each day our products help ensure someone will return home to their families safely at the end of the day. There is nothing more satisfying than knowing we have an opportunity to keep people healthy and safe by providing innovative products and solutions.
8. Do you support any charitable organizations within public safety?
We proudly support the Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN) and its mission to aid firefighters and their families following a cancer diagnosis. We have a responsibility to protect firefighters by helping to educate them about the dangers they face daily on the job and encourage prevention efforts to keep them safe. Education is key to helping firefighters reduce their cancer risk and that’s why we’ve chosen to team with the FCSN to combine our efforts to raise awareness of the cancer risks firefighters face on the job.
9. Is there any fun fact or trivia that you’d like to share with our users about you or your company?
It’s really cool that our company invented the hard hat 101 years ago! We are proud that our hard hats have protected workers who have built some of our most iconic structures, like the Golden Gate Bridge and the Hoover Dam.
10. What’s next for your company? Any upcoming new projects or initiatives?
In 2019, Bullard acquired Switzerland-based Darix to continue our engineering efforts to improve the situational awareness of first responders in critical environments. Darix is a frontrunner on smart-glasses for industrial and commercial safety and emergency responder applications and we are leveraging that expertise to develop new core and product solutions that continue to solve firefighters’ most critical safety-related challenges. We are always searching for innovative solutions that help firefighters stay safe.