J & N Enterprises President Scott Kleppe presents multi-gas meter to FIST Deputy Director John Kepshire
Photograph by Terry Murphy, J & N Enterprises


On the afternoon of January 20, 2005 a multi-gas meter was presented to FIST by Mr. Scott Kleppe, President of of J & N Enterprises of Valparaiso, Indiana.

Continuing a tradition began many years ago by his late father John, the entire Kleppe family, as well as all the employees of J & N Enterprises believe in taking an active role in the safety of their local emergency service workers. From the company's humble beginning outside Wheeler, to the newly opened, state of the art manufacturing plant next to the Porter County Airport, J & N Enterprises provides quality gas detection and air monitoring equipment on a world wide basis.

In making the presentation, Mr. Kleppe stated that he was more than proud to be able to support FIST in it's efforts in making Porter County a safer place to live and hoped that the monitor being donated would make our mission much safer for all our personnel. Our thanks to the entire Kleppe family and the employees of J & N Enterprises for their most gracious donation and support.

A close up photograph of the multi-gas meter which monitors oxygen level, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide and the LEL of combustible gases

On December 16, 2004 Director Branham and Deputy Director Kepshire traveled to Indianapolis for a hearing on a grant for state funding to purchase pagers for members of FIST.

The grant program was being managed by the Office of the State Fire Marshal, but during the first few minutes of the hearing process, the Grant Program Chairperson made it quite clear that nearly no further funding would be available for the year 2004.

After sitting through nearly two hours of other funding requests that were denied, the FIST request was finally addressed. After a short presentation by Director Branham, the hearing board granted the request for the funding needed to purchase the 10 Minitor IV pagers the team had requested.

Once the funds have been received, the pagers will be purchased and then all members of the team will be no farther than a single page away from a response to assist local agencies with an investigation.


On Tuesday, February 27, 2000 State Farm Insurance Company presented two laptop computers to the Porter County Fire Investigation Strike Team.

The presentation was made by State Farm Agent Mike Monroe, who is also a member of the Liberty Township Fire Department.

Once the computers have been loaded with the proper software, they will be utilized in the field to gather the information needed to process incident scenes. A CAD drawing program will also allow team members to complete accurate sketches.

The presentation took place at the South Haven Fire Department, which also received several of the State Farm computers. Pictured above receiving the computers are (L to R) FIST Director James Branham, State Farm Agent Mike Monroe and Asst. FIST Director John Kepshire.


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