The ability to move water is critical with fire suppression. As with many advancements in the fire service, the solutions to problems that firefighters face are usually devised by the firefighters. The solution, if exceptional, catches on in one department and is soon shared across departments, across the country. Greg, like his father before him, was a volunteer firefighter. He served in his town’s department where he made Chief and served in that role for 11 years. His first invention, made in a barn behind his house, was a floating drafting strainer – and it caught on. The strainer led to more solutions and in its early days, Kochek was offered the contract to provide a suction hose to clean up the March 1989 Exxon Valez oil tanker spill.
Greg a machinist and toolmaker worked for local shops as well as an American aerospace manufacturer with global service operations before making the decision to found Kochek in 1988. Today, Kochek is one of the leading manufacturers of quality water movement products. Fire Chiefs globally recognize the name Kochek as synonymous with quality. The Floating strainer is one of many patents that Greg has achieved.
Charlie’s passion for what Kochek does is reflected in the simple fact that each component is designed and custom made for the fire service, in many cases for a specific fire department. That integrity of purpose is inherent in all Kochek products that move water from the water source to the fire.
Charlie started out as a welder. He soon had his own tool, die and welding company. His company shared space with his brother Greg’s workshop. In 1988, Charlie and his brother merged and incorporated Kochek, their objective was to develop products that would move water from a source to a fire scene.