Market Segment – Derek McEwen, Edmonton, Alta.

As the Market Segment Manager of Fire Systems & Mining, I’m lucky to work right in the middle of the action and see how our fire suppression systems for vehicles help companies across Canada each day. In fact, throughout the mining, forestry, waste management, agriculture, container handling and transportation industries, hundreds of organizations from coast to coast depend on us for their VFSS systems. At any given time, our hardworking team of specialists are working on-site and behind the scenes to ensure that operators, assets and the environment are protected against fire disasters.

CAT 797 vehicle fire
A Caterpillar 797F on fire after a vehicle fire suppression system failed to activate.

So, what exactly can we do to help your business get the vehicle fire suppression systems it needs? Everything! At Levitt-Safety, we take your project from conception to completion – and beyond. That means that whether you’re starting from the beginning and need a new system or are simply looking for a new service provider to take on the maintenance for your existing one, we can do it all.

In today’s blog, I’m explaining how exactly we can manage your VFSS from start to finish, and introduce you to some of the key players on our team from across our regions so you get a sense of who you’re working with and what you can expect from your experience with Levitt-Safety.

Sales – Dan Menard, Sudbury, Ont.

If you’re in the market for a new vehicle fire suppression system, Dan is your man. His 40 years of experience in the fire protection field has given him extensive training on the unique challenges that come with each type of machinery. As a veteran VFSS specialist, he also mentors our newer members to the VFSS team and performs internal audits to ensure that our installs and servicing always live up to our quality guarantee.

Since joining Levitt-Safety in 1995, he’s worked on all sides of the VFSS business as a technician, service supervisor and a configure price quote (CPQ) specialist. While Dan wears many hats, his focus these days is on the selling and quoting of large, multi-system projects. To get the process started, he researches your machinery or personally visits your site to size up the equipment and determine what sort of base systems are needed. During this time, he determines which leading manufacturer is the best fit for your equipment (whether it be Ansul, Kidde, Amerex or Fogmaker) and which agent is the right fit for the job (wet chemical, dry chemical or clean agent). From there, he gets back to you within 24 hours with a quote using our leading manufacturers’ parts and competitive pricing.

Once approved, Dan briefs the CPQ team on what’s to come and your project is officially ready to get started.

CPQ – Lisa Price, Moncton, N.B.

Next up, Lisa Price (Operations Manager for Atlantic Canada) could receive your project (depending on your location). As the CPQ lead for our eastern region, she handles all of the quoting for local projects and works in tandem with folks like Dan to manage larger, multi-system jobs. Once the quote has been accepted, Lisa is your direct contact for the project and shares timelines, schedules and everything else you need to know about having your system implemented.

In her 19 years with Levitt-Safety, Lisa has become well-versed in the world of fire suppression and loves the confidence she is able to bring forward with each new Levitt-Safety VFSS solution. While Lisa heads up the Atlantic region where machines, loaders and excavators for forestry are the most common part of the VFSS division, we have CPQ specialists like Lisa across the country who specialize in each industry’s unique requirements to support your project.

Installation and CAD Designs – Mark Dumais, Oakville, Ont.

Our technicians always work to install the system in the safest route possible while implementing the manufacturers’ specifications (i.e., seeing that a hose is clamped along a certain channel to keep it out of the path of mechanics). This way the VFSS doesn’t interfere with the equipment’s components.

It’s important to note that no two systems are ever the same. Even with two “exact” systems on two exact trucks, there could be different option packages or even differing hoses that can vary from one another.

For this reason, we provide the option for detailed CAD designs. Mark Dumais, who has been our Technical Design Specialist since 2012, maps out these intricate system installs through the use of AUTO CAD for the organization’s reference.

Between customer meetings, drafting and service work, Mark’s job as our design specialist brings him across Canada through all types of work environments – and for good reason. His CAD illustrations are the key to providing our clients with the detailed blueprints they require to ensure that internal QA/QC, reliability and insurance requirements are met.

CAD drawing for vehicle fire suppression system
An example of one of our CAD drawings. This information is conceptual in nature and is to be used only as a guideline.


Service – James Smearer, Moncton, N.B.

Once your system is installed, your equipment is ready to work! But, that’s not where it ends. Just like with your piece of machinery itself, the vehicle fire suppression requires routine maintenance to increase its lifecycle and keep you compliant.

At Levitt-Safety we have nearly 100 service technicians from coast to coast. James Smearer is one of our 14 service supervisors. Starting as a technician himself in 2004, James supervises our service techs in the Atlantic region, ensuring that each vehicle fire suppression system is properly serviced and ready for a fire emergency. When a call comes in saying that it’s time for service, he dispatches the right tech for the job and supports them with any issues they may encounter.

Like each of our service supervisors, James ensures that each member of his team is always up-to-date with their certification and manufacturer training. In addition to providing support to the technician team, he also performs internal audits.

Hint: you’ll notice, as you keep reading that we do these on a number of different levels within our organization.


QA/QC and Training – Andrew Patterson, Oakville, Ont.

The last (but certainly very important) part of our VFSS team is the quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) division. Andrew Patterson has been an integral part of our VFSS team for the past 30 years in every role from service tech to supervisor. Now, he leads the team as the National Manager of QA & Vehicle Fire Solutions.

In short, his team ensures that each system installed and/or maintained by Levitt-Safety is compliant and consistent with government and manufacturer requirements. This includes assisting new hirers in their installations, performing random quality checks and conducting incident investigations (also through third-parties).

While Andrew is stationed at our corporate head office located in Oakville, Ontario, this role brings him across the country to oversee and assist in the installation and maintenance of vehicle fire suppression systems across every industry and in every application.

In addition to QA/QC, Andrew’s team also leads the end-user training to ensure that each customer has the knowledge they need to operate the system, navigate their way around it and perform daily inspections.

Why choose Levitt-Safety

With over 50 years in the vehicle fire suppression business and a team of in-house experts dedicated to vehicle fire suppression, you can be sure you’re putting your spend in the right hands. We provide installation and servicing of leading systems from Ansul, Kidde, Amerex and Fogmaker.

Every one of our technicians is manufacturer trained and certified and ensures that your system is installed to manufacturer specifications. This improves the reliability of your heavy equipment and confirms that you are in compliance with local regulations.

As Canada’s largest provider of vehicle fire suppression systems, we aim to service most areas across the country in a timely manner to minimize your downtime. Whether on a new install or existing system, we fully support any unplanned interruptions and get your machinery back up and running as soon as possible.

On top of our ongoing support, we also offer monthly reporting to document vehicle fire suppression system’s performance and unscheduled events in order to improve equipment reliability and your bottom line.

When it comes to protecting your workers, your equipment and your environment from vehicle fires, a fire suppression system is your best bet. If it’s time for a new install, or you’re just looking for someone to service your existing system, Levitt-Safety is here for you. To learn more, be sure to get in touch with us today.

Derek McEwen

Market Segment Manager, Fire Systems and Mining Technology

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