YOUNGSVILLE, N.C. — The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks changed our way of life, but for one Franklin County business, it changed their bottom line. The down-home operation has turned homeland security into big profits.
Business is booming in Youngsville at Southeastern Emergency Equipment. The company started in a tiny farmhouse with a small staff in 1979.
"We, primarily in that 24 years, have supplied equipment that would go in the back of an ambulance -- everything from Band-Aids to defibrillators," said Carla Baker, president of Southeastern Emergency Equipment.
In the last two years, company officials have seen a big jump in workers, products and profits.
"After 9/11, our customers realized that if such an event happened in their particular area that they would not be prepared to handle anything of that magnitude, and so our phones rang off the hook," Baker said.
The growing staff is responding to growing homeland security needs from their down-home operation. They added 5,000 more square feet to their existing building to handle more equipment.
Along with its company headquarters, Southeastern Emergency Equipment's reach is also expanding. They now have sales representatives from Hartford, Conn., to Houston, TX, along with clients like the West Virginia Highway Patrol and Baltimore-Washington International Airport.
Southeastern Emergency Equipment just landed a state contract to develop an emergency response trailer. If state emergency services approves the prototype, Southeastern Emergency Equipment will build one for each of North Carolina's 100 counties.