Year: 2018

The Hiller Companies, Inc. Announces the Acquisition of Systems Management Group, LLC

The Hiller Companies is excited to announce the purchase of Systems Management Group, LLC (SMG), based in Denver, Colorado on September 1, 2018. Headquartered in Mobile, Alabama, Hiller offers fire protection and security products and services that are preserving lives and property all around the world.

The acquisition of SMG grants Hiller access to the Colorado market and provides the tools to more effectively service existing customers in the western United States. Hiller plans to maintain all of SMG’s management, staff and technicians, which will ensure a seamless transition for current SMG customers.

“We are always looking for opportunities to serve our customers more effectively,” said Hiller President and CEO Patrick Lynch. “We have found that one of the best ways to achieve this is by strengthening our first-class team. This is certainly the case with the Systems Management Group acquisition. Not only will it give us an opportunity to expand our service area, but we are gaining an experienced team of customer-focused employees.”

Adding a new dimension to the Hiller offerings, SMG specializes in consultation, design, installation, service and integration of low voltage systems, including fire alarms, intrusion alarms, access control, camera systems, audio/video systems, BDA systems, area of refuge systems, telecommunications, data systems and more. SMG’s strong brand presence in Colorado has solidified the company as a market leader in the low voltage fire alarm and security space.

SMG Founder and newly appointed General Manager Terrence Kane shares, “The acquisition by Hiller gives our existing customers and potential new customers the best of both worlds. We are able to provide them with the attention and support of a local company that’s also backed by the strength and resources of a strong U.S. brand. We couldn’t be more thrilled with this opportunity.”

American Fire Equipment, a Division of the Hiller Companies, Announces Branch in Flagstaff, Arizona

In July, American Fire Equipment, a division of The Hiller Companies, Inc., celebrated the opening of its new branch in Flagstaff, Arizona. The addition of the Flagstaff branch solidifies American Fire’s strong presence in the state of Arizona, where offices are currently located in Phoenix, Yuma, Tucson, and Show Low.

Purchased by Hiller in January 2017, American Fire builds on our strong foundation of experience steeped in almost 100 years in the fire protection industry coupled with the most modern service technology.

“Flagstaff not only gives us a presence throughout the state of Arizona, but also grants us better access to our hospitality, education, healthcare and mining customers, “ shares Operations Manager Mark Murrell. “With Hiller’s support and American Fire’s drive, we are excited to build on our reputation of excellence in fire protection solutions and high quality customer service.”

The Flagstaff branch provides a full range of fire protection services for educational, commercial and industrial environments and specializes in solutions for fire alarms, fire sprinklers, clean agent fire suppression, portable fire extinguishers and backflow preventers.

The new branch location is: 5310 E Northgate Loop, Suite B, Flagstaff, Arizona 86004

For more information about American Fire, please visit www.americanfire.com.

Herbert S. Hiller Partners with the National WWII Museum to Restore PT-305

The newly updated PT-305 docked.

It is in the mid-1940’s, we were in the middle of World War II. The United States Navy was in need of small boats that could move in fast against the enemy. The PT-305 was part of a new class of vessels in the war; a light, swift and aggressive hunter. Patrol Torpedo (PT) boats went where larger ships could not, patrolling enemy-held coastlines at night, launching attacks on enemy shipping, then vanishing into the darkness.

PT boats built by Higgins Industries of New Orleans were made of wood: spruce ribs, pine keel, and a mahogany hull. Three powerful Packard engines gave them a top speed of over 40 knots. Carrying torpedoes, machine guns, and a cannon, PTs were pound for pound, the heaviest armed craft in the US Navy.

On March 30, 1943, the keel was laid for PT-305, “Sudden Jerk.” She launched on May 27th and was commissioned into Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 22 on December 8, 1943. The next six weeks were spent testing PT-305 on Lake Pontchartrain before shakedown in Miami. In April, she was loaded onto an oil tanker in Norfolk, VA, for shipment across the Atlantic to the Mediterranean Theatre. During her war days, she was responsible for sinking three enemy vessels.

She was purchased by the National WWII Museum and returned to New Orleans in April 2007. After ten years and more than 120,000 volunteer hours, the PT-305, “Sudden Jerk”, has been completely restored to her late 1944 appearance and is fully operational.

Herbert S. Hiller reached out to a few of our dedicated suppliers. We supplied the engine room CO2 fire suppression system, portable fire extinguishers, fire hose, and nozzle. Hiller donated the engineering, field labor, and pipe and fittings required to install and certify these systems.

To find out more about the PT-305 and the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, visit their website.

Herbert S. Hiller employee volunteers on the PT-305.
Hiller technicians David Lucas (left) and Randy Brisbi (right) install CO2 piping for the PT-305.
Danny Brown (Manager, Strategic Projects at Herbert S. Hiller) alongside Candy Westfall (PT-305 Project Manager for the World War II Museum)

The Hiller Companies’ Chuck Johnson Goes Above and Beyond

Chuck Johnson has a knack for being in the right place at the right time when people need help.

“I was driving on Highway 65 on the way to my next job when I saw a truck with a trailer in the northbound lane. It was on fire, so I stopped.”

Johnson is a General Products Technician for the Birmingham branch of The Hiller Companies, a fire protection company headquartered in Mobile, Alabama. He was able to quickly assess the situation and take action.

“By the time I stopped, the man was running in the middle of the road asking anyone if they had a fire extinguisher. I told him, ‘I got you’ and I passed him two extinguishers. I fed some to another man, and I took two,” Johnson said.

The driver of the truck indicated to Johnson that there was a propane tank on the trailer, and Johnson knew they had to move quickly.

“I think we used five extinguishers,” he said. “And the way the wind was blowing, it wasn’t hitting the fire. I kept telling the men to aim at the base of the fire. We were worried that a propane tank would explode, but we managed to keep it under control until the fire department showed up.”

Johnson believes if he hadn’t happened by, the situation could have been a whole lot worse before the fire department arrived.

“I am just glad I was there,” he said. “It is a good feeling to be able to provide a service. In any way I could help, I was willing to do it.”

Keith Carter, Operations Manager of the Birmingham branch of Hiller, said Johnson is one of their best performers.

“Chuck is one of our top technicians, and he always thinks of others – techs and customers alike – before he thinks of himself,” he said. “What he did for that person on the side of the road was a natural thing for him to do. It’s just who he is.”

This was not the first time Johnson has helped someone in trouble. A couple of years ago, during a drought, he came upon someone trying to put out a fire caused by a cigarette in a grassy area. He helped keep the fire from spreading until the fire department arrived.

And in the end, all’s well that ends well – as Johnson drove the same path to work the day after last week’s fire, he saw the Hiller extinguishers on the side of the road and was able to recover them and get them recharged.

The Hiller Companies offer fire protection products and services that are preserving lives and property all around the world. Headquartered in Mobile, Alabama, Hiller extends its reach globally as well as locally with offices in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Virginia. We are proud to safeguard everything from small businesses to nuclear power facilities, yachts to aircraft carriers, and gas stations to offshore platforms.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact

Keith Carter at 205-323-3338 or email at kcarter@hillercompanies.com