Our History

As of 1986, Vern Wieberdink, a diesel and automotive mechanic and college instructor by trade, had already been on a volunteer fire department for 21 years. Vern was getting increasingly frustrated with the equipment they were using in the fire service, particularly when it came to SCBAs. Very few SCBAs of the mid 80s supplied enough air for a hard-working firefighter and the quality and reliability of them was remarkably poor. Vern went out in search of a better SCBA. After thoroughly examining all of the products available at the time, Vern concluded that one company stood head and shoulders above the rest, so he traveled to Pittsburgh to learn more about Dräger. They forged a long lasting relationship and a new company, called Alex Air Apparatus, Inc. was born.

Vern was determined to show his new Dräger SCBA to everybody that he could, and it was very well received. By offering a quality product and following up with unmatched service expertise, a loyal customer base began to form and Alex Air Apparatus began to grow. While on the road, Vern had many requests for Alex Air Apparatus to broaden their equipment offerings, specifically in the areas of PPE, extrication and breathing air compressors. It wasn’t long before Vern realized that he needed help, so he set his sights on one of the best field service technicians he knew, his son Kyle. Eventually, Vern would retire (sort-of) and Kyle would take his place, turning Alex Air Apparatus into a 2nd generation, family owned business.

Today, Alex Air Apparatus is still based on the same founding principles that it was 30 years ago; providing superior equipment up front with a strong focus on service after the sale. Under Kyle’s stewardship, Alex Air Apparatus has continued to grow and expand throughout the upper Midwest. Product lines have also expanded to include global industry leaders such as Bauer Compressors, Hurst Jaws of Life, Dräger SCBA and Viking Life Saving Equipment. Alex Air Apparatus also offers a fully certified, mobile fleet of service technicians to ensure a long and trouble-free life for your equipment.