Beginning as a volunteer for the Cedar Hammock Fire Department in Bradenton, Florida, Don Bouwer (now CEO of Ten-8 Fire Equipment, Inc.) devoted 25 years to fire service. While he excelled to high ranking positions, including County Fire Coordinator and Assistant Chief, it was during his role as a buyer of fire apparatus that Don discovered the true value of service.
Following fire apparatus purchases, Don was constantly challenged with the lack of service and support available after the sale. When repairs were needed, the apparatus salesmen were either unavailable or unconcerned with providing assistance. This sparked Don to start his own business combining both sales and service of fire and safety equipment. Hence, Don Bouwer Fire & Safety was formed.
Don’s philosophy was to base the company on Christian principles, integrity, service, and family values. Though selling another brand, Don’s wish was to be a sales representative for Pierce Manufacturing because he was impressed with both their apparatus and their management. in 1985, his wish came true when he was awarded the Pierce dealership for the Southwest Florida Region.