A Tulsa company's product helps protect as well as helping the firm to grow

Wednesday, July 9th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Security in America is a prime concern since the attacks of September 11th. A Tulsa company is leading the way, providing the only high security fence to pass a government test.

News on 6 reporter Rick Wells takes us to Ameristar, to check out a product called Impasse.

"You're not gonna keep the really bad guys out, but you do want to slow 'em down.” According to Eddy Gibbs, that's what Impasse does. Impasse is a new ornamental-looking security fence. It'll slow or even stop an intruder and they have the pictures to prove it.

A crash test was conducted at the Texas Transportation Institute, for the State Department. Impasse is the only fence that passed. "We can stop a truck weighing 15,000 pounds going 40 miles per hour in ten feet, it's incredible." He's had ideas for better fencing for years but the development of Impasse proves the old saying, necessity is the mother of invention. "The morning that 9-11 happened I was watching TV when the second plane hit the second building." The incidents of that morning focused America's attention on security and focused Eddie Gibbs on the task of building a more secure fence.

Impasse is the result and Barry Willingham, the national director for the product says it's already in use. Willingham: "We've got several projects, that I really can't discuss, in the DC corridor right now." Too high security I guess. Also he says in the Northeast and on the West Coast.

The US Army Corps of Engineers is installing Impasse at its facility in east Tulsa; in today's environment high security demands something more, perhaps, than chain link fence.

Gibbs: "A ten year old can take a pair of pliers and cut a hole where you could drive a pick-up truck through in about 18 seconds." It'll take more than a pair of pliers to get thru this stuff. Ameristar has quietly become the largest manufacturer of architectural metal fences in the world.

The development of Impasse, the company says, will result in, at least, 200 more jobs over the next two years.