With a little over four years in business, Vulcan Fire, a Colorado-based fire protection company, prides itself on the foundation of transparency and expertise. In fact, over 90% of the company’s employees have nearly 20 years of experience, including owners, CJ Simonds and Todd Wagner.

The company also has an impressive growth story. They went from a three to 37-person operation with multiple locations and are now one of the largest independently owned commercial fire service systems in the Mountain West region. This year, they’re on the track to do $10 million in sales.

We sat down with co-owners CJ and Todd to discuss how they got to where they are now:   

1. Briefly describe your business (what does it provide, who does it serve, etc.)

Vulcan Fire is a Fire Protection business providing life safety solutions to the Colorado and Idaho markets. We are known as a “part and smarts” company. We offer design solutions, equipment, and programming to general and electric contractors. We also provide service and inspections for fire alarms, extinguishers, sprinklers, emergency radio communications, and special hazard systems. Additionally, we offer consulting services, design-build, and monitoring of life safety systems.

2. How did the business start, and how is it going today?

Our business was formed by co-owners CJ Simonds and Todd Wagner, who both have over 20 years of experience in the Colorado market. At the helm of our expertise, Vulcan Fire has grown 40-80% year-over-year since 2019. As a result, Vulcan Fire expanded its footprint, and in 2023, began providing services in Boise and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

3. What makes your business unique or sets you apart from competitors?

We provide our clients with in-house experience and expertise. 90% of our employees have been in the same line of business for 15 to 20-plus years. We have built a robust communication line, creating one-of-a-kind rapport with our clients. We pride ourselves on honesty and integrity, not only with our clients but also our employees. Vulcan Fire has a culture and company vision that is entirely transparent.

4. What is your proudest achievement as a business owner or leader? 

One of our proudest achievements is winning Notifier’s Dealer of the Year and Multi-Million Dollar Award in 2023.

5. Describe a challenge the business faced and how you overcame it.

The Pandemic: We were open for less than a year when the Pandemic hit. However, the plateau helped us build our team around the acceleration and growth of our business. We had to grow quickly to ensure operations complimented our sales.

6. What do you think are the most important skills/considerations for running a successful business?

There are a variety of considerations when it comes to running a successful business:

  1. Market analysis is key. Do your homework and research the needs of your market.
  2. Don’t take on work your team can’t support.
  3. Don’t lose the personal touch your clients have grown accustomed to.
  4. While quick success is great, consider gradual growth.
  5. Most importantly, take care of your employees and be transparent with them.

7. Why did you choose FirstBank as your banking partner?

We chose FirstBank because we have been customers personally for over 30 years. FirstBank’s business services, transparency, and human touch closely aligns with our culture and vision. They take care of their customers and treats us like a true partner. For instance, FirstBank’s support, which included extending a business line of credit, enabled us to access the capital needed to secure large contracts. This was instrumental to our growth. They’re vested and truly care about their customers’ success.

8. What do you hope to see the business accomplish in the next several years?

We plan to continually grow Vulcan Fire in Colorado and Idaho and expand into new markets. We couldn’t do this without the partnership we have with FirstBank. 

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