Barnwell House of Tires Educates Firefighters

April 20, 2023

Barnwell House of Tires recently held a tire and training symposium for Long Island, N.Y.-based fire departments.

During the day-long event which took place in Farmingdale, N.Y.  the Central Islip, N.Y.-based tire dealership introduced new commercial tires to nearly 40 vehicle technicians representing 20 different fire departments, while educating them about tire maintenance. 

“They are the people who keep fire trucks on the road and make sure those vehicles are running optimally,” says Scott Weeden, Barnwell House of Tires' vice president of sales. 

“They asked us to come in, give them some pointers and (discuss) what’s new in the tire industry.

“At the event, we talked about some of the new tires that are out,” including the Goodyear Endurance WHA, a tire made with a renewable soybean-based compound.  

“The wear on that tire is 10% to 12% better” than its predecessor, says Weeden. “We have some fire departments that want to try that tire.” 

Barnwell House of Tires representatives  including Rich Petrusik, regional sales manager; Stanley Carreras, strategic account manager; and Marc Goldberg, territory manager and certified Tire Industry Association (TIA) trainer  also introduced attendees to the Michelin XDN2, the Bridgestone M799, the Goodyear G622 and the Goodyear Armor Max. 

“We brought the tires in so attendees could get close to them. We fed them the features and benefits. They had a lot of questions about what works best in their fleets and we made recommendations to them. It was very hands-on.” (Barnwell House of Tires also sells to other emergency responders. “We had some ambulance techs there, as well,” notes Weeden.) 

Tire maintenance and service procedures also took center stage. “We talked about the RIST process. We talked about why that’s important when installing tires. We talked about lifting, jacking and blocking.

“We talked about tire wear. We looked at (ways) to help them identify when a tire should be taken out of service. These fire trucks sometimes jump over curbs and when they jump over curbs, the tires are going to flex. These things have to be looked at and handled because when that next call comes in,” fire trucks need to be ready. 

“We don’t want that truck driving 50 feet down the street and it’s done, all because of a tire issue that could’ve been prevented,” says Weeden. 

Barnwell House of Tires also brought in a truck tire that had experienced a zipper rupture. “We had each of them look at the tire and asked what they thought had happened to it. They had some really good answers. The most dangerous thing that can happen with a tire is a zipper explosion.” 

Air pressure was a critical part of the conversation. “When they check air pressure and see it’s 20% off, I asked, ‘What do you then do with the tire?’ Some of them said, ‘We air it back up.’ We told them, ‘The standard is to take that tire off, inspect it and if there’s no problem with it, you then air that tire back up inside a safety cage.’ We wanted to (learn about) their processes, so we could educate them.” 

Feedback was immediate and positive, according to Weeden. “Two of them grabbed (Petrusik) and asked if he could walk their fleet the next day to get a look at what they’re doing. 

“There’s nothing like being in the room with customers and getting them to talk and ask questions in an open forum. Even if they take one thing home, that’s huge for us. Then we’ve added value.  

“There were some powerful takeaways for them,” says Weeden, who also serves on the TIA board of directors.

“It’s important for all of our customers and tire technicians to be safe and follow the guidelines put in place (in order) to be compliant. It’s a vital part of their job and spreading the word about training is very important to our industry.” 

About the Author

Mike Manges | Editor

Mike Manges is Modern Tire Dealer’s editor. A 25-year tire industry veteran, he is a three-time International Automotive Media Association award winner and holds a Gold Award from the Association of Automotive Publication Editors. Mike has traveled the world in pursuit of stories that will help independent tire dealers move their businesses forward. Before rejoining MTD in September 2019, he held corporate communications positions at two Fortune 500 companies and served as MTD’s senior editor from 2000 to 2010.