P.O. Bahn & Sons has four generations of experience servicing engines in Santa Monica, California. Founded in 1927 to service automobiles, the family-owned engine repair shop transitioned to small engine sales and repairs in the 1970s. As it turns out, that transition has been good for both the business and the community.
In 2005, P.O. Bahn & Sons introduced a mobile saw repair unit that it now uses to service firefighting equipment in the fire-prone lands of southern California. The 40-foot trailer can house the P.O. Bahn & Sons team, give them a mobile workshop and stock enough parts that they can work for up to seven days without placing a supply order. When they do have to place a supply order, they work with Pacific STIHL to have parts shipped directly to the field. The mobile unit and streamlined process has put the P.O. Bahn & Sons team on the front lines of some of California’s biggest and most recent fires.
Ray Bahn, owner of the family business, works directly with three local fire departments – Santa Monica, Culver City and Manhattan Beach – as well as the federal government. He says the fire department work keeps him busy, but he doesn’t mind the hard work and severe conditions.
Along with his son, Bahn has worked on 30 California fires. In the field, they typically wake up at 5 a.m. and work 16-hour days, repairing and sharpening the firefighters’ saws.
“My record is 72 days straight, 16 hours a day,” Bahn says. “You’re supposed to go 14 days and have two days off, but if they don’t ask me, I just keep plugging.”
Summer may be the busiest time for the Bahns’ firefighting work, but October has its own relevance. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) will celebrate Fire Prevention Week October 9-15. NFPA encourages homeowners to replace fire alarms every 10 years to prevent emergencies in their home.
Beyond working with local fire departments, the Bahns are lifetime members of the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. Based in Boise, Idaho, the foundation honors fallen firefighters and works to support current and future first responders. Whether it’s through their business services or financial support, the P.O. Bahn & Sons team supports firefighters from the field to the firehouse and beyond.
For more information about P.O. Bahn & Sons, visit www.pobahn.com.
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