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published on May 30, 2017 - 12:24 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Fresno-based Tempest Technology, which manufactures ventilation systems for the fire service sector, has been sold to a French company.

Leader Group of France, which has sold equipment used in firefighting and search and rescue operations for more than 32 years, is the new owner in a deal whose terms were not disclosed.

Tempest was founded in 1987 by Don Hamman of Terra Bella as a company that specialized in making small fans for inflating hot air balloons. Dexter “Scorch” Coffman, a local hot air balloon pilot, became involved shortly after, purchasing the company in 1989.

The family-owned business soon found its true calling in promoting a new ventilation technique called “positive pressure ventilation” (PPV), where firefighters use small gas fans, or “blowers,” as Tempest named them, to force air into a burning structure to remove all the heat, gas and smoke.

“After 30 years and having turned 74 years old it is time to retire and enjoy our grand children, and our health”, Dexter Coffman said.” It has been a wonderful run turning Tempest into a world-wide company and helping create a new industry of PPV.”

Leroy Coffman, Dexter’s son, is president and CEO of Tempest, while Dexter’s wife Trica and daughter Paley Coffman Peralez also serve a key role in the business.

The Tempest manufacturing facility in Fresno will continue to operate as normal, and will eventually be expanded to accommodate appropriate stocking levels of both Tempest and Leader products to service dealer networks and end users, according to a news release.

In addition, this facility will serve as a manufacturing location for select Leader products, and will become the new home for the assembly and stocking of the foam proportioning systems designed by Robwen, which was acquired by Leader in 2014.

It will also become a stocking location for the Bio-Ex line of ecologically friendly firefighting foam products. The current Leader North American warehouse, located in North Carolina, will be evaluated as a secondary stocking location.


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