Spotlight: Braun Ambulances 'built for life' to protect, serve responders
Braun Industries prides itself on producing safe, quality ambulances for those who serve
Braun Industries, Inc. has been manufacturing custom, quality ambulances since 1972. With an extensive dealer network serving customers throughout the country, Braun delivers hundreds of emergency vehicles each year.
1. Where did your company name originate from?
Braun is a family name. The company was started by Charles J. Braun in 1961 as a pattern shop.
2. What was the inspiration behind starting your company?
In the 1970s, the company identified the ever-growing need for a high quality, custom built product in the ambulance marketplace. At this time, dedicated ambulances were just coming on scene and there were not existing manufacturers to build these emergency vehicles. Leveraging their existing technologies as a pattern shop, Braun set out to expand their product offering and began manufacturing handcrafted ambulances in 1972. A complete company history can be found here.
3. What is your signature product and how does it work?
While we offer seven different models in our 2018 lineup, our signature “product” is really our build process. We are the only manufacturer to offer SolidBody™ Construction, a unique process that builds the ambulance as one integrated module to reduce weight and enhance strength. There is no separate extruded frame or glues, etc., which is an important difference from other ambulance manufacturers. The floor, roof, sides and doors are all constructed from brake formed parts with fully welded seams. Details of this process can be found on our website here.
4. Why do you believe your products are essential to the EMS community?
Our EMS community should have reliable apparatus. More importantly, however, they should have an ambulance that provides the utmost protection in the event of an accident. We are very serious about safety at Braun ambulances – and are proud to be an industry leader in protecting the first responders that protect their communities. We were the first ambulance manufacturer to both crash and roll an ambulance in testing and ensure our units not only meet but exceed the latest safety standards. We are also able to fully customize our units to enhance the working environment, which impacts the level of care delivered.
5. What makes your company unique?
The ambulance industry has seen a lot of consolidation in recent years. Braun Industries is family-owned and operated, as it has been for the last 45 years. We are currently under our third generation of Braun family leadership with Kim Braun as our owner/president. The culture at Braun is one of family. Whether it’s our dealers or our end customers, people and relationships matter to us. As a premium ambulance provider, we need to deliver an exceptional customer service experience – and we are fully committed to that. Knowing who we are at a manufacturer level, as well as having a local connection at the dealer level is important for our customers and we seek to develop long lasting relationships.
6. What do your customers like best about you and your products?
Personal connections are big; we want our end customers to have a good working relationship with us that will last for years to come. From a product perspective, safety and longevity are most important. Our customers know that when they purchase a Braun, they’re purchasing one of the safest ambulances on the road with the highest quality – it’s a premium product. They also know the lifespan of their vehicle will outlast other brands, as they’re able to remount their vehicles repeatedly to save a significant amount over purchasing new.
7. What is the most rewarding part of serving the first responder community?
Being a first responder is a noble occupation; these individuals give day in and day out to serve those around them. Manufacturing a product that helps keep them safe and makes their job easier is huge. Our Braun “family” takes great pride in serving those that selflessly serve others.
8. Do you support any charitable organizations within public safety?
We sponsor the NAEMT of the Year award. For EMS Week each year, we generally run a promotion that profits a charitable organization; it changes each year.
9. Is there any fun fact or trivia that you’d like to share with our users about you or your company?
The first Braun ambulance unit we built in 1972 is still on the road. Here’s an image:
Also, the unit we T-boned and rolled over in our crash testing is still in drivable condition, with zero repairs made. We keep it on the lot at our headquarters and drive it around from time to time.
10. What’s next for your company? Any upcoming new projects or initiatives?
2018 will be an exciting year for Braun and our customers. Our biggest initiatives will tie into our vision statement: “delivering an exceptional customer experience from a premium ambulance manufacturer.” We’re introducing things at the manufacturer and dealer level to provide the best possible experience before and after the sale, more on that will be forthcoming as individual initiatives roll out.
Also, we’ve already announced a partnership with Pierce Fire Apparatus to build our Patriot ambulance model on their Saber chassis. We will debut this model at FDIC 2018. Last last year, we introduced our MasterTech Fleet Connect innovation which creates the industry’s first “smart ambulance.” This technology is being implemented into demo units at our dealership levels now, and customers can order it for new ambulance purchases. Here is an outdated piece of literature on FleetConnect; we have plans to revamp that in January – but it gives you a basic idea of the technology.
We will also be introducing two new ambulance models late in the year. One of these will be a critical care transport unit, which is a highly specialized unit for special applications likes transporting NICU patients.