ALBERTVILLE, Alabama – Mueller Co. is marking a major milestone in the Alabama city it turned into the “Fire Hydrant Capital of the World” – the 4 millionth hydrant off its Albertville production line.
To highlight the achievement, Mueller officials hosted a small celebration on Monday for employees, family members, retirees, community leaders, legislators and others at the company’s manufacturing facility.
Mueller’s Albertville plant, which launched production 40 years ago, today has 490 workers, making it one of the top employers in Marshall County.
“We are proud members of the Albertville business community and appreciate the city’s support over the years,” said Mueller plant manager Randy Epperson. “We also acknowledge that no company is successful without great employees who work hard and are committed to excellent customer service.
“Full speed ahead to 5 million!” he added.
Melody Whitten, Albertville’s director of economic development, said the Mueller facility continues to make substantial contributions to the northeast Alabama community of 22,000 residents.
“In the 40 years that Mueller has operated a plant in Albertville, they have employed thousands of citizens, supported many civic and charitable causes and served as an economic engine for Albertville,” she said.
‘FIRE HYDRANT CAPITAL’
Mueller’s Albertville plant was built in 1975, with production starting the next year. On April 10, 1990, the facility produced its 1 millionth hydrant, which was given a special coating of chrome and placed on display across from the Albertville Chamber of Commerce.
This Mueller milestone led to Albertville’s widely shared status as the “Fire Hydrant Capital of the World.”
“Mueller placed Albertville ‘on the map’ so to speak, as Mueller Albertville is seen on each and every fire hydrant they produce and ship worldwide,” Mayor Tracy Honea said this week. “We are happy to celebrate this achievement with them and wish them many more successes.”
In 1999, the Mueller plant hit the 2 million milestone, followed by its 3 millionth hydrant in 2007. The Albertville plant produced No. 4 million in July, and it’s now receiving a special coating so it too can be placed on display in the city.
Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, congratulated Epperson and the Mueller workforce for the accomplishment.
“This production milestone is another tremendous achievement for Mueller’s Albertville plant, which has operated as a significant economic force in Marshall County for four decades,” Secretary Canfield said.
“I congratulate Mueller’s leadership in Albertville and look forward to the day when the facility turns out its 5 millionth fire hydrant, made right here in Alabama.”
Epperson said the Alabama plant has been highly productive since its early days, and he credited the facility’s employees for its production capabilities.
“The goal was to have a facility capable of producing 350 hydrants per day,” he said. “With advancements in technology and our employees’ commitment to continuously improving the way we do business, we have been able to produce double that amount in a single day.”