History


Ours is a history of innovation. 

Ferno-Washington, Inc, Founders, Elroy Bourgraf and Dick Ferneau 

From pioneering use of aluminum tubing to creating the revolutionary Model 30 X-Frame Cot to innovating the transformative technology of iNTRAXX, FERNO has led the way to better, safer, and more efficient care. Any EMT or Paramedic who has transported a patient has encountered a product derived from FERNO's innovations, which date back to 1945. Watch the video below to learn more about our founders, Elroy Bourgraf and Dick Ferneau.


 

 

The FERNO Story

 


The Washington Mortuary Supply Company, 1955

In 1924, William (Bill) E. Klever started The Washington Mortuary Supply Company in Washington Court House, Ohio. Bill Klever and Dick Ferneau worked together, building up the business, until Bill's death in 1947. Dick stayed on with the company, designing products, purchasing materials, and running the plant until June 21, 1955. In July 1955, Dick started his own company and named it Ferno. He rented a building in Staunton, Ohio, seven miles from Washington Court House, and hired personnel experienced in pattern making and the machining of engineering components. Ferno Manufacturing was up and running.

 

One-Man Mortuary Cot, 1958

Burt Weil made a fundamental contribution to Ferno Manufacturing by designing and making a one-man mortuary cot. The cot was a big hit, causing Ferno Manufacturing to seek new and larger operating facilities. The plant was moved to Circleville, Ohio, in April 1956. At that time, Burt Weil introduced Dick Ferneau to Elroy Bourgraf. Young Bourgraf, recently released from military service and with a college degree, had a good business head and some experience in the U.S. mortuary equipment market.

At their first meeting, Dick Ferneau and Elroy Bourgraf agreed that they made a good team and that Ferno Manufacturing had a promising future. That same year, Elroy Bourgraf became a full partner. In June 1957, the two of them purchased a building and moved production to Greenfield, Ohio. The business grew rapidly, outselling its competitors: Boomgardner Manufacturing Company of Cleveland and Washington Mortuary Supply Company, owned by Mrs. Klever. In 1961, Mrs. Klever decided to sell Washington Mortuary Supply Company to Dick Ferneau and Elroy Bourgraf.

 

Ferno-Washington, Inc, 1963

Dick Ferneau and Elroy Bourgraf decided to combine the names of Washington Mortuary, which had been in business since 1924, and Ferno Manufacturing. Ferno-Washington, Inc. was born in 1963. In 1972, Elroy found an excellent location with ample room to expand. So, the Clinton County Air Force Base in Wilmington, Ohio, became the home of Ferno-Washington, Inc. and its 180 employees. Always looking for other markets in which to invest, Ferno-Washington purchased the Health Care Division of Market Forge in 1983. The Ferno Forge division was established in Boston, Massachusetts, while the Ferno Ille division was located in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. After adding 6,500 square meters to the Williamsport facility, the Ferno Forge division was moved there in 1985.

In 1987, a three-phase plan was implemented to expand the Wilmington facility. Phase One was to enlarge the shipping area, while Phase Two was to connect the existing three buildings under one roof. Phase Three was to move Ille from Williamsport to Wilmington and to sell Ferno Forge to Castle. Subsequently, it was decided to build a three-story administrative complex. In 1988, the Ille division was made at home in its new surroundings. The vacated offices became the spacious new homes for support groups, such as engineering and R&D. Temperature-controlled environments were also built to house Ferno-Washington's sophisticated computer systems. Over the years, Ferno has built and retained its reputation for excellent quality and commitment in the design and manufacture of its vast product range.

 

FERNO Today

Though we are now known simply as Ferno, we dedicate the same commitment and attention to our products, to our customers, and to the involvement of our employees that we have since 1955. These are the foundations underpinning the high quality and professionalism for which Ferno is known. Professionalism is the cornerstone of our work, guaranteeing maximum effort throughout the organization so that the best results are achieved, whatever the commitment. Ferno will continue to offer and deliver reliable products on a timely basis, representing our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. Our company is built upon the quality of our employees, people motivated by the recognition of their professionalism, whose teamwork and spirit represent the underlying strength of Ferno. Our organization extends throughout the entire United States and abroad, but our commitment to professionalism and credibility is the same in every location.

 

International

Ferno International is the division dedicated to our international markets. Our success lies in the decision to supply products suitable for the international market, responding to the specific needs of each country or region, without limiting our offerings solely to those products ready and available in the United States. Ferno International currently distributes in more than 70 countries. The distributors in France, Italy, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom are wholly-owned branches of Ferno. Production and distribution principally focuses on emergency and rescue equipment. Thanks to the quality of our products, the professionalism of our customer service, the efforts of our special Research & Development department, and the capillary flow of information throughout our outstanding distribution network, Ferno is now a world leader in the production of rescue equipment.


 

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