Chain link fence around your lawn or a bullet and crash proof barrier
By Bobby Tingle
The Orange Leader
Ann Hinds does not run an ordinary chain link fence company. Ethan and Ann Hinds began A-1 American Fence, Inc. in 1967. If you need a chain link fence around your lawn then give her a call. If you need a crash proof gate, bulletproof gate, a decorative fence capable of stopping a two-ton truck going 50 miles per hour or a hardened driveway entrance with hydraulic retractable bollards you can also call Ann.
She can do it all.
Ann and her husband, Ethan, began the company to provide for their family. After 52 years, the company is going strong with Ann at the helm.
“When Doyle and Richard were eight or nine years old they would assemble chain link fence gates for their dad. They have been working in this family business for a long time,” said Ann.
Doyle and Richard Hinds have been a big part of transforming this business from a mom and pop chain link fence company into an internationally renowned security company specializing in hardened perimeters and entrances.
Upon graduation from high school, Doyle Hinds celebrated by working on a fence project at the West Hackberry Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
“We installed a perimeter fence around the facility,” said Doyle. “Then we put a special barbed wire developed by the Israeli government around the well heads.”
Two things were significant about his experience.
One, it was a most unusual excursion to celebrate graduation from high school. More important though, it provided an opportunity for Doyle to gain experience working for a government entity.
During the cold war, the United States and Russia agreed to reduce the nuclear threat by reducing their nuclear weapons arsenal.
Much of the work was done near Amarillo, Texas at the Pantex Plant. While working at the facility Doyle seemed to think he saw a Russian soldier walking about. As it turned out, the man, dressed in full military garb, was a Russian General overseeing American personnel who were dismantling Russian nuclear weapons at the Pantex Plant.
“In 1984, we installed fence and razor tape at the Pantex Plant where nuclear bomb are built. It was the largest single purchase order from the United States government and NATO forces of razor tape at the time. It took 76 tractor-trailer loads to deliver the razor tape,” said Doyle.
Concrete and steel posts are used in public and military facilities to harden and entrance or perimeter.
“Military facilities, after 911, have installed barriers to slow traffic down at vehicle entrance points. We installed the system at the Pentagon, National Security Agency, Washington Naval Shipyard, Central Intelligence Agency facility in Washington D.C. and Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Belle Chase, Louisiana,” said Doyle.
They used a system of stationary bollards which look like steel posts about three feet high and a dozen inches in diameter mounted vertically from ground level. Bollards are designed to stop a moving vehicle whose driver is intent on doing harm.
A-1 American Fence offers installation of hydraulic retractable bollards as well. Last year they installed retractable bollards at the State of Texas Governors Mansion driveway entrance.
Previously, they place a similar system at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.
They have secured international embassies in Washington D.C. as well. They use a cable system engineered here in Orange which they installed at the Singapore and British embassies.
The cables are built into ornate fencing. Microwave detection devices, which perform somewhat like garage door sensors, have been added to the system to provide motion detection monitoring. These systems can be augmented with active vehicle barriers, which when deployed raise a triangle shaped metal barricade from ground level.
“Currently, refineries in the area produce 85% of jet fuel consumed in the United States. We are in the middle of several $100 Billion construction projects in Orange and Jefferson Counties as well as Calcasieu Parish. These facilities require a high level of security,” said Richard Hinds.
Facility security is a worldwide concern. European countries have been particularly vulnerable in recent years.
“Europe understands the need for security due to their need. Because of their historical need 85% of all security products are made for the area,” said Richard.
A-1 American Fence has not gone unnoticed in that arena. They received the endorsement of Perimeter Security Suppliers Association Chairman Paul Jeffrey from the United Kingdom.
The association sets the European standard for security contractors on the continent.
Because of their notoriety in Europe, Hinds has been able to partner with a European company to provide specialty blast blinds to their many products offered. An external blast can cause glass shards to project inside buildings where occupants can be injured. These specialty blinds restrict the projectiles thereby reducing injuries.
A-1 American Fence was chosen by readers of The Orange Leader and at www.orangeleader.com as the BEST fence company in Orange County.
Ann Hinds is grateful. So are Richard and Doyle Hinds.
But they are not resting on their laurels. If they have their way, they will continue to do work anywhere needed in the USA or right here in their own back yard.