It is sad to see the passing of Doug Ogilvie. Doug was probably the finest gentleman in the fire service industry during my lifetime.
Doug parlayed a relationship with Snorkel that changed Pierce from being a utility body company into the largest fire apparatus builder in the U.S.
When I saw him on a regular basis, late 1970's to late 1980's, he always had a smile and knew the name of every worker on the floor. That is the main reason for their success, in my humble opinion. While Doug was at the helm, there were no unhappy Pierce employees. Doug spoiled them and in return got 100 percent of their efforts.
He loved the customers, too. If I introduced him to my customers one day, he would remember their names at breakfast the next day. When we were lucky enough to have him at the dinner table he was always more interested in customers families and hobbies than anything to do with work.
Once, I had a department that was unhappy with a special option they had requested. The way it had been done was cumbersome and complex. After a couple of reworks, Doug came out of nowhere, grabbed me by the elbow and said, "We need to talk." He told me the company had spent about as much time on the problem as they were going to. I explained the customer's side of things and why they were balking. It ended up that whatever was presented in the morning was as far as they were willing to go without more dough.
The next morning we checked it out and it almost looked like standard except for the simplest, head slapping change. The foreman said it had been Doug's idea, "That's why he's the boss."
If there are some other old farts out here that were lucky enough to meet this titan of the industry, I think a proper tribute would be to share your stories with the group. I can think of no other person I have ever met in this industry can measure up to Doug.
Never met the man, but he sounds like one of the reasons we were the best country in the world. rest in peace
It sounds like Doug, was a real great guy to work for, I remember seeing his picture on all of the Pierce ads standing behind his product. Today you have a giant corporation who is just trying to pump out apparatus and make as much profit as possible, this is the way the whole country is operating, the good old days are over!