WILMINGTON — Eric Salyers, Vice President of Ferno-Washington’s human resources department, spoke about the company and its history at the Nov. 18 Wilmington Lions Club meeting.
He explained how Dick Ferneau started a company he named Ferno in 1955 after working for several years for the Washington Mortuary Supply Company in Washington Court House, which was founded in 1924 by Bill Klever.
The company’s present location, at the former Clinton County Air Force Base in Wilmington, began in 1972. Since its beginning with the manufacture of a mortuary cot, Ferno has designed and manufactured various products related to emergency, mortuary and military service needs.
The company has grown to become an international supplier shipping its products to over 70 countries worldwide. Locally, in Wilmington, Ferno has 262 employees.
Salyers pointed out the Ferno’s products help to save many lives every year but in one case, helped our military take down an International terrorist. Ferno manufactured a portable ladder which the military assembled in the field. When the mission to attack the Osama Bin Laden compound occurred, our servicemen used such a ladder to scale a wall and gain entry into the compound.
The Lions can better appreciate Ferno and its contribution to service providers after hearing Salyers’ presentation.