1960 Fire Truck Makes the Perfect Gift for Founder of Turtle Plastics

Company products are used for rescue cribbing, auto extrication, first responder stabilization tools.

1960 Fire Truck Makes the Perfect Gift for Founder of Turtle Plastics

Turtles Plastics®, known for its innovative life-saving recycled plastics stabilization products, surprised its Founder Tom Norton with a 1960s fire truck for his 87th birthday. The company bought the vehicle to support the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. 


Lorain, Ohio – Turtle Plastics® may specialize in environmental, health and safety stabilization products made in the USA from recycled plastic, but the company also knows how to throw a birthday party like no other.


Recently, Tom Norton, the company’s founder, got a huge birthday gift: a 28-foot fire-truck built in 1960.


“This is a big surprise,” Tom said. He’s a lifelong recycler, environmentalist, and visionary entrepreneur.


Tom and his wife, Dr. Karen A. Bradley, got the royal treatment right away. Seconds later, the siren signaled their first voyage along Industrial Parkway Drive.


When Tom returned in style, everyone watching tuned in for his assessment. “It was fantastic.”


Company President Liz D. Paintiff told Tom the company will take care of the fire truck. “You can ride it whenever you want. It’s going to have tile and cribbing and be part of our showroom.”


In a sense, the special day was decades in the making. It turns out that the manufacturer of the fire truck, American LaFrance, was among first Turtle Tile customers of Turtle Plastics, which was founded in 1980. Diverse company products are used for rescue cribbing, auto extrication, first responder stabilization tools, material storage, industrial maintenance and repair, and walking and compartment surfaces.


Last year, Turtle Plastics® executives heard that a family donated its estate, including five collectible fire trucks, to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF). The company has a close relationship with the organization.


Turtle Plastics® bought one as a donation to the NFFF and restored it just in time for Tom’s birthday. The fire truck will also be available to the company for community, educational and other uses. It won’t be long before Tom gets a chance to toss candy from it during a parade.


“Isn’t it beautiful?” Liz said. “It’s like getting an Indy500 fire truck.”


The birthday party, which included current and former employees, friends and other guests, got off to a touching start. Lorain Fire Capt. Ryan Bowers presented Tom with a personalized helmet from the Lorain Professional Firefighters Local 267. It features his name, a large 87 to mark his birthday and the company name.


Tom also received proclamation from the City of Lorain that reads in part: “We extend our sincere ‘thank you’ for your major contributions to the rescue industry…”


About Turtle Plastics®

Turtle Plastics® designs and manufactures innovative safety products from 100% recycled plastic. Dura Crib® interlocking plastic blocks, chocks and pads are used as stabilization tools for rescue and lifting operations. Dura Stat® and Dura Blend smooth profile safety products are versatile and can be used in a wide range of industries and applications. Our Turtle Tile® interlocking ergonomic modular tiles, ramps, and matting are odor-free, practical, and economical. Turtle Plastics® is committed to environmental health and safety solutions that protect workers and ensure a sustainable environment to support zero waste and zero wood initiatives. All products made in U.S.A.


About the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

The United States Congress created the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation to lead a nationwide effort to honor and remember America’s fallen firefighters. Since 1992, the nonprofit Foundation has developed and expanded programs to honor fallen fire heroes, assist their families in rebuilding their lives, and reduce firefighter deaths and injuries. For more information on the NFFF and its programs visit www.firehero.org.

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