In 2004, the founder of Great Lakes Pre-Owned Fire Apparatus, George Sheets, purchased a used 2250-gallon tanker with a tax refund. The truck was then advertised and sold for a profit. Hence, the Company was born.
George Sheets has been a fire chief in two cities, as well as serving as a volunteer and career firefighter. He has also been a captain and deputy chief. Regarding his business, George states, “I have known many departments which struggle with limited budgets and funding, and I feel there is an answer to many of their problems. Our answer is to purchase a pre-owned or new fire apparatus at a fraction of the cost of new. The equipment that we represent has been used by busier departments which have outgrown or traded up to a newer apparatus. The trucks still have good serviceability in a less busy or rural community and meet those needs.”
In late 2005, the founder approached a long time friend and associate to join him in the venture. With the addition of Mr. J.W. Tackett, a new office was located in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
J.W. Tackett has served as a police officer, firefighter, company officer, both volunteer and career, as well as having served as a fire chief in the military and three municipalities. In addition to his public safety experience, he has been associated with other dealers in the new and used fire equipment industry.
In addition to the sale of quality fire apparatus, both men have experience with fire department issues. They also have experience as consultants regarding consolidation, training, purchasing, management and other fire department related matters.
The company sells new fire apparatus on new chassis, new apparatus on late model chassis, used chassis and used fire trucks. The company will also broker used apparatus for dealers. Since the first sale, Great Lakes Pre-Owned Fire Apparatus has sold trucks throughout the United States, including Alaska, as well as Canada. The experience, knowledge and resources qualifies Great Lakes Pre-Owned Fire Apparatus to serve apparatus needs of any department.