The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Aug. 15, 2022

Braun cuts ribbon on new production line

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Employees and board members of ambulance makers Braun Industries and Demers Ambulances gathered Wednesday — just 86 days after a merger of the two companies — for a ribboncutting ceremony celebrating the completion of work on a new production line at Braun to manufacture smaller ambulances on van chassis.

Both Kim Braun, president/CEO of local Braun Industries, and Alain Brunelle, CEO of Canadian ambulance maker Demers Ambulances, were pleased with the quick work on the expansion at Braun. The new line, sited in the former Life Star Rescue facility north of Braun’s main plant, adds 20 jobs at the Van Wert-based company.

“A lot of people made this happen,” Braun said, commending the quick work needed to get the production line operational. “One of those milestones that you remember for a very long time in what we accomplished together.”

Kim Braun of Braun Industries and Alain Brunelle of Demers Ambulances cut the ribbon Wednesday on a new production line for smaller Type II ambulances. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

“We see the difference today because of the people, we see a difference because of the passion of the people, their knowledge, so we can see a good ramp up here, and we have maybe lots of projects to go forward, lots of units to be built,” Brunelle noted. “This is a good start, a beginning, and we expect a lot from this place.”

The two companies, Braun Industries, which has been manufacturing quality ambulances since 1972, and Demers, established in 1960 and now Canada’s largest ambulance manufacturer and the second largest in North America, announced their merger in February.

“The time is right to partner with Demers Ambulances, company that shares our values, spirit of innovation, and commitment to quality and customers,” Braun said during the merger announcement. “As the family contemplated many growth plans for a successful future, joining another successful brand that creates value for our workforce and customers was top of mind.”

Braun continues to lead her company’s day-to-day operations, while Brunelle will head the combined company.

“We are very pleased with our progress in strengthening our presence and pursuing growth,” Brunelle said during the merger announcement. “Partnering with Braun provides us the right opportunity to better serve and service our customers, strengthen our employee base, and enhance our capacity to operate and innovate in a competitive, global industry.”

POSTED: 04/26/18 at 6:40 am. FILED UNDER: Business, News