Ours is a history of innovation.

From pioneering use of aluminum tubing to creating the revolutionary Model 30 X-Frame Cot to innovating the transformative technology of iNTRAXX, FERNO has led the way to better, safer, and more efficient care. Any EMT or Paramedic who has transported a patient has encountered a product derived from FERNO's innovations, which date back to 1945. Watch the video below to learn more about our founders, Elroy Bourgraf and Dick Ferneau.

Ferno Founders
Ferno-Washington, Inc, Founders, Elroy Bourgraf and Dick Ferneau


The Ferno Story 

The Washington Mortuary Supply Company, 1955

In 1924, William (Bill) E. Klever started The Washington Mortuary Supply Company in Washington Court House, Ohio. Bill Klever and Dick Ferneau worked together, building up the business, until Bill's death in 1947. Dick stayed on with the company, designing products, purchasing materials, and running the plant until June 21, 1955. In July 1955, Dick started his own company and named it Ferno. He rented a building in Staunton, Ohio, seven miles from Washington Court House, and hired personnel experienced in pattern making and the machining of engineering components. Ferno Manufacturing was up and running.

One-Man Mortuary Cot, 1958

Burt Weil made a fundamental contribution to Ferno Manufacturing by designing and making a one-man mortuary cot. The cot was a big hit, causing Ferno Manufacturing to seek new and larger operating facilities. The plant was moved to Circleville, Ohio, in April 1956. At that time, Burt Weil introduced Dick Ferneau to Elroy Bourgraf. Young Bourgraf, recently released from military service and with a college degree, had a good business head and some experience in the U.S. mortuary equipment market.

At their first meeting, Dick Ferneau and Elroy Bourgraf agreed that they made a good team and that Ferno Manufacturing had a promising future. That same year, Elroy Bourgraf became a full partner. In June 1957, the two of them purchased a building and moved production to Greenfield, Ohio. The business grew rapidly, outselling its competitors: Boomgardner Manufacturing Company of Cleveland and Washington Mortuary Supply Company, owned by Mrs. Klever. In 1961, Mrs. Klever decided to sell Washington Mortuary Supply Company to Dick Ferneau and Elroy Bourgraf.

Ferno-Washington, Inc, 1963

Dick Ferneau and Elroy Bourgraf decided to combine the names of Washington Mortuary, which had been in business since 1924, and Ferno Manufacturing. Ferno-Washington, Inc. was born in 1963. In 1972, Elroy found an excellent location with ample room to expand. So, the Clinton County Air Force Base in Wilmington, Ohio, became the home of Ferno-Washington, Inc. and its 180 employees. Always looking for other markets in which to invest, Ferno-Washington purchased the Health Care Division of Market Forge in 1983. The Ferno Forge division was established in Boston, Massachusetts, while the Ferno Ille division was located in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. After adding 6,500 square meters to the Williamsport facility, the Ferno Forge division was moved there in 1985.

In 1987, a three-phase plan was implemented to expand the Wilmington facility. Phase One was to enlarge the shipping area, while Phase Two was to connect the existing three buildings under one roof. Phase Three was to move Ille from Williamsport to Wilmington and to sell Ferno Forge to Castle. Subsequently, it was decided to build a three-story administrative complex. In 1988, the Ille division was made at home in its new surroundings. The vacated offices became the spacious new homes for support groups, such as engineering and R&D. Temperature-controlled environments were also built to house Ferno-Washington's sophisticated computer systems. Over the years, Ferno has built and retained its reputation for excellent quality and commitment in the design and manufacture of its vast product range.

Ferno UK, 1971

Ferno UK was established back in 1971 originally under the name of FW Equipment Co. Limited by a local family businesses man called Les Harris. During 1989, Les decided to retire at which time Ferno Washington Inc acquired the company and changed the name in 1992 to Ferno (UK) Limited to reflect it being a wholly owned subsidiary of the Ferno Group. Ferno UK moved to their current premises back in 1996 where we design, manufacture, distribute, market and sell products to the Emergency Services, Funeral & Mortuary, Industrial, Aviation, Military sectors complemented by our Ferno Care aftersales service division. We manufacture Class I Medical Devices and are accredited to the ISO 9001 Quality Management System. The company employees over 50 staff at its Bradford, West Yorkshire facility and supplies its products into the UK, Ireland and Export through the Ferno Distributor network.

Ferno Australia, 1974

In 1974, FW Equipment was established by Ken Ferris to be Ferno's sole Australian distributor. Now a wholly owned group company, Ferno Australia has grown to incorporate six business divisions – Emergency, Rescue, Height Safety, Rock Climbing, Mortuary and Service – with manufacturing, testing and warehousing facilities in two cities, and over 70 staff across Australia and New Zealand.

Premium safety and recreational harnesses, slings, bridles, rescue stretchers plus auxillary technical rope and rescue kits are manufactured primarily in Perth, Western Australia. Emergency and rescue devices which include iNX accessories, Arachnipod and Industripod are manufactured in Brisbane, Queensland where regional Head Office and a dedicated Research & Development facility is also located.  

Ferno Australia provides the region's most comprehensive portfolio of specialty products catering to the ambulance, emergency medicine, rescue, industrial height safety and mortuary sectors. 

FERNO Japan, 1992

Ferno Japan, Inc. was established in July, 1992 under 100% owned by Ferno Wilmington after more than 10 years service operated by a joint venture company named as Ferno Fareast, Inc. (owned 60% by Japanese owner and 40% by Ferno Wilmington) as an exclusive distributor for Ferno products in Japanese market. Ferno Japan has been distributing all of Ferno products manufactured and supplied by Ferno Wilmington and the other Ferno Group companies to Emergency, Professional Rescue, Mortuary, Hospital, Aviation/Military, and Industrial safety customers. In March, 1997, we built and established our warehouse in the outskirts of Tokyo (Hachioji city).

FERNO Canada, 1994

Established in June 1994, Ferno Canada is a wholly-owned entity located in Mississauga, Ontario. At its inception, Ferno Canada operated as a distributor of core Ferno-Washington patient transport solutions. Traverse Rescue (a Ferno Group Company) came under the management of Ferno Canada in 2005. Traverse Rescue specializes in designing, engineering, and manufacturing professional rescue devices that are used to access and transport patients safely, primarily during search and rescue operations. Traverse relocated its facility from Kelowna, British Columbia to join Ferno Canada in a shared facility in May 2008. Ferno Canada introduced Acetech (from ATSR, an Irish Ferno Group Partner) to the Canadian market in January 2011. Acetech offers cloud-based Vehicle Intelligence solutions for emergency service fleets. Ferno Canada currently employs over 30 staff and utilizes an exclusive network of distributors across Canada, serving the Paramedic, Rescue, Fire, Police, Mortuary, Military, Aviation and Industrial sectors. Strategic partnerships with other industry leaders have enabled Ferno Canada to grow and diversify its portfolio to offer an extensive range of innovative solutions to keep all first responders safe and effective.

FERNO Italy, 1995

Ferno's Italian headquarters was established in April 1995, in Prato. The building was used exclusively for storage and sorting of Ferno products. Sales to the end customer were handled entirely by Italian distributors. Over the years, Ferno Italia has focused on seeking direct contact with the end customer in order to fully understand all the needs of the sector.  This led to a great collaboration between Ferno and Italian end users. Such cooperation drives the development and production of products such as the Scoop EXL, the first Powertraxx motorised chair, and the XT carbon fibre extrication systems.
In 2011 the new Ferno Italia headquarters was opened in Pieve di Cento. It includes a warehouse, a Research and Development department and the area dedicated to the production of Italian devices. Recently Ferno Italia has also focused on the Rescue line, making it possible to design products for harsh and extreme environments.
In 2019 Ferno Italia acquired the Swiss market: the Lucerne offices moved permanently to Lugano and were managed directly by the Italian headquarters.
Today, in Italy, Ferno carries out an intense activity, day after day, based on innovation. The great collaboration with the customer to create cutting-edge products is accompanied by the ability to communicate in an engaging way on social channels and through the use of a successful online shop.

Ferno Slovakia, 2001

Ferno Slovakia was established back in 2001 under the name Saver Manufacturing. We design, manufacture, and sell Class I Medical devices using processes certified under the ISO 9001 QMS, ISO 13485 Medical devices QMS. We also keep NCAGE for registered NATO suppliers. The company employs over 50 staff in Bosaca premises offering a broad portfolio of EMS products supplied to Ferno Group Companies and Ferno Distributor network across all continents. Providing quality, the added value, or good after-sales services is not enough. You need all three to have a perfectly balanced operation.

Ferno Today 

Though we are now known simply as Ferno, we dedicate the same commitment and attention to our products, to our customers, and to the involvement of our employees that we have since 1955. These are the foundations underpinning the high quality and professionalism for which Ferno is known. Professionalism is the cornerstone of our work, guaranteeing maximum effort throughout the organization so that the best results are achieved, whatever the commitment. Ferno will continue to offer and deliver reliable products on a timely basis, representing our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.

Our company is built upon the quality of our employees, people motivated by the recognition of their professionalism, whose teamwork and spirit represent the underlying strength of Ferno. Our organization extends throughout the entire United States and abroad, but our commitment to professionalism and credibility is the same in every location.


Ferno International is the division dedicated to our international markets. Our success lies in the decision to supply products suitable for the international market, responding to the specific needs of each country or region, without limiting our offerings solely to those products ready and available in the United States. Ferno International currently distributes in more than 70 countries.

The distributors in France, Italy, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom are wholly-owned branches of Ferno. Production and distribution principally focuses on emergency and rescue equipment. Thanks to the quality of our products, the professionalism of our customer service, the efforts of our special Research & Development department, and the capillary flow of information throughout our outstanding distribution network, Ferno is now a world leader in the production of rescue equipment.