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Premier Pyrotechnics, Inc.

News Releases

January, 2008

New York office leads New Years in Buffalo

The Premier Pyrotechnicians in Western New York were busy setting up the Annual Buffalo Ball Drop, in Downtown Buffalo NY. For details of the story click here.

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January, 2008

Premier Expands Operations in Florida and Texas

Premier Pyrotechnics Inc, headquartered in Richland Missouri, has added two magazine sites in Texas and Florida. This increases the number of locations for storage and client pick-up to 27 companywide, said CEO Matt Sutcliffe. "We have permanent storage in 18 states now, with 2 more additions on the drawing board."

"The need for our clients to have a secure storage site has increased a bunch since the safe explosives act," said Sutcliffe." It is only responsible for a company to provide that space as close to the client as practical."

You will find the additional magazine sites in our catalog (page 6) in San Antonio Texas (Jacob Dell Mgr.), In Tallahassee Florida (Mark Pickel MGR.) as well as expansions at several of our sites, bringing the total storage capacity of Premier to 2.3 million pounds. "We offer these sites as well as the 25 others to our clients as a pick-up point for ship shows, as well as contingency storage, often saving you, the client, the expense of putting in your own magazine to get a ATF permit or license," said Sutcliffe.

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January, 2008

Camp Barnabus Burn Benefit a Success

The 9th Annual Camp Barnabus Burn Benefit was a huge success again this year. Attendees enjoyed the great sounds of The Kricket Alley Band, Bar-B-Que from award winning LeLand McMasters, cake walks, inflatable games for the kids, and of course the fireworks competition and Grand Finale.

"The benefit is the perfect end to a good summer," said Gasconade Hills Resort owner, Bob Sutcliffe. Gasconade Hills Resort has hosted the Labor Day Weekend event on Sunday night, since it's inception in 1999.

"Our main income from the event is the auctions," said event director Phyllis Graves." We do really well with the live auction on the bigger items, but the silent auction is big also."

The money raised from the annual event goes 100% to provide scholarships to children who have been victim's of traumatic burns. These scholarships are for $650 each and give a scarred child the chance to go to a summer camp where they can be "normal". In 2006, $13,014.87 was the total raised and 2007's event saw more than $17,000.00 to be presented for scholarships, an increase of $3,700.00 plus!

The Fireworks competition again saw fierce competition from several competitors, but in the end, the audience picked John Rois and his assistance Dad David, as the winners of the 2007 competition. Congrats to the Rois' on a fine pyromusical presentation.

All fireworks lovers are invited to the 10th Annual Benefit, scheduled for the Sunday of Labor Day, August 31st, 2008 at 4 pm. 

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January, 2008

Premier Purchases Florida Fireworks Company

Great Shows has sold their Florida operations to Premier Pyrotechnics Inc, headquartered in Richland Missouri.

"Randy is an old friend and fire service brother, who called in mid 2007 to ask if I was interested in buying his company," said Premier CEO Matt Sutcliffe. "I told him we were certainly expanding into Florida and would love to meet with him and talk about it"

"During the International Association of Amusement Parks Convention in Orlando, we got together, spent a few days working the details and signed the agreement at the company Christmas Party in Richland," said Sutcliffe."Several current Florida shooters and new Tallahassee Magazine Manager, Mark Pickel, were at the party and it was real nice to have them there to celebrate this addition."

Great Shows has providing displays in Central Florida for more than 30 years. Randy will continue, as a Premier employee, to service his clients and plans to continue shooting shows and managing his crews.

Great Shows had magazine facilities in Brooksville Florida, and Premier will continue to maintain that operation. you can reach Randy by email at or by phone at 813-245-7700.

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January 13, 2005

Missouri Displays face new requirements for 2005

Missouri has now added it's name to the growing list of states that require licensed operators on their display sites.

In addition to the federal requirements to purchase and store display here is the scoop on the requirements for performing a display in the State of Missouri.

  1. Each display must have a permit. The State officials (State Fire Marshals Office) would like you to get this from the local officials (Fire Department, County Sheriff, Public Safety Official). If the locals refer you to the state or say "we don't write permits for fireworks displays" then you must get one from the FM office. The cost is $100 and they require the usual site plan and an application be filled out. I suggest you apply at least 14 days prior to the display.
  2. Every display performed in the state must now have at least one Missouri State Licensed Operator on site during the set-up and operation of the display. In other words a Lead Operator must be state licensed. Please download this PDF file for complete information on becoming a state licensed operator.

NOTE: There are 2 separate licenses. One for outdoor displays following NFPA 1123 and one for Proximal displays following 1126. Each license costs $100.00 and there is a test and experience requirement for each.

If there is anyone that needs training, our only Missouri Class this year will be March 19th, 2005 in Richland.

There you go and Happy Shooting.

Matt Sutcliffe

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July 27, 2004

Phase II Construction Project

The Phase II construction project is now complete. "The only thing we are waiting on now is the good Lord to send enough rain to fill our pond," said Premier President Matt Sutcliffe. "We started using the magazine building in mid-February and began using the mortar building in March."

The new buildings have eased the operating pressure that handling the product and mortar load in's and out's that a busy season brings.

The new Fire Station was dedicated on May 15th 2004. More than 100 residents of the fire Departments area attended as well as more than a dozen politicians.

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January 28, 2004

Phase II Construction Projects Underway

The Phase II construction projects are underway for Premier Pyrotechnics Inc Corporate offices in Richland Missouri as well as several magazine sites through out the United States.
Click photo to tour our new construction

"We are adding 2 warehouse type buildings to our Richland facility as well as a large water reservoir and test shoot site" said Premier President and CEO, Matt Sutcliffe. "One of the buildings, approximately 10,000 square feet, will be used for storage of Firing Equipment and shoot site supplies as well as our line of pyro equipment that is for sale."Shop Foreman Terry Stoll said the new mortar building will make equipment maintenance much easier as well as giving us some much needed dry storage. "We will be able to turn the shop back into a shop instead of storage for racks and mortar."

The second building will become a 300,000 pound Magazine and cover aprox 7,000 square feet. Magazine manager Marty Gillette said he is looking forward to the much improved efficiency as well as the increased storage capacity. "Our increase in sales has outgrown the present facility, creating the need for a lot more storage." 

In addition we are building a 40 x 60 ft fire station that will feature 3-12 x 12 ft truck bays and a meeting room with facilities to host community events such as fundraisers. The station will be leased to the local fire department, Nebo-Falcon Fire Department for a low annual lease. Prior to the construction of the station the department served the needs of the residents from 3 stations, the closest to Premier being 11 miles. The addition of this station, station 4, will decrease response times to the local residents as well as provide immediate protection for Premier.

The station will house a quick attack pumper, a tanker and the departments newest addition, a 2,000 GPM Pumper tanker carrying 1,100 gallons of water. Many of Premier's employees are involved in the volunteer fire service.

During Phase II additional mobile type 4 magazines have also been added or are being added in Peculiar, MO, Yankton SD, Crookston MN, and Gainsville, TX.

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November 13, 2003

Open Letter to all Fireworks Purchasers

This may prove to be the most trying year the fireworks industry has ever experienced. There are new regulations that will require some of you to make application for permits, that have in the past simply required a "yellow form" to be filled out at the time of purchase.

It is my intention to dispel any rumors that "you can’t buy fireworks in America" or even that is has become impossibly difficult. Relax, would be the word of the day. Lets get through these changes together this year and in the upcoming years it will get easier just because we have learned the process.

Okay, here comes the plain English translations of the new regulation’s handed to us from the ATFE.

1. If you have been purchasing and shooting your fireworks as a Government entity, ie City of…..Fire Department, Police Department, any government entity, there are no changes in what you do. Period, it’s that simply. Business as usual. Fill out the 5400.4 at the time of purchase and shoot your show.

2. If you are purchasing a display that we, Premier Pyrotechnics Inc, are shooting for you there are NO CHANGES. It’s business as usual

3. If you are an individual or business who purchases from us, and you don’t live in Missouri, Kansas or South Dakota then nothing has changed. You will need to file for a type 54 or type 55 permit. Both are explained in detail as options B and C below.

4. If you are an individual or business that is not affiliated with a Government entity, AND you were purchasing from a us in either Missouri, Kansas or South Dakota then there are the following changes.

You were able to make purchases using the 5400.4, Yellow form that you filed out at the time of purchase. You got this from us when you picked up the product. This is no longer an option after May 24th 2003. So what do we do Matt? Well I’m glad you asked.

There are a couple of options here that are for you to decide upon based on your individual situation.

A. Fill out the application, 5400.13, available from us or by downloading at for a Type 54 permit which is User of Display Fireworks. This is good for 3 years and cost $100.00. You can buy as many shows as you want in those three years. (I would prefer you buy from us and recently we have been in a state of confusion!) With this application, you will need to submit a picture of yourself, and a finger print card. We will be doing both at our shooters schools as well as have the applications available. If you want to do this yourself you can go to the ATFE website and download the form at and go to your local sheriff’s department and get your prints done on a standard print card as well as get a picture. If you are wanted, this would be a dumb idea, but hey, if your wanted your not going to get a permit anyway!

B. Fill out the application, 5400.21 available from us or by downloading at and get a Type 55 permit which is User (Limited) of display fireworks. The differences between this and the Type 54, described above is it cost $75.00 verses $100,00 and it is good for 1 purchase within 1 year. Also the instructions say to allow 90 days for processing instead of the 45 days for a Type 54? NOT a good choice if you are planning to do more than 1 show in the next 3 years.

C. Apply for the new type 60 permit. It will allow up to 6 purchases from an IN state distributor within 1 year. It will cost $25.00 per year. It will require the same background check as the Type 54 and 55, complete with fingerprint card and photo submitted with application. Allow 90 days to process.

I look forward to assisting you in this transition and hope the preceeding has helped clarify the "confusion" and rumors that have run rampant. As always we look forward to supplying you with the best product and service you can buy.

Matt Sutcliffe
President, Premier Pyrotechnics Inc.

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April 22, 2002

Shell Kicker Caught on Film

The following is a fictional picture, but the story concerning this I tell in our classes is not. Thanks to Kelly Kruse for uhhhhmmmm, "catching" this image for us!

If this picture interests you be sure to check out our training page for a training seminar near you to find out the story behind the picture.

Click on the photo to see this dramatic image much larger!

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April 15, 2002

Kansas Operators License

If you are in need of the Kansas operators license or have completed the course and need to send in your completed application here is their address:

Kansas State Fire Marshal's Office
700 SW Jackson, Suite 600
Topeka, KS 66603-3714

Calls can be directed to Jill Eschete at 785-296-3401

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April 7, 2001

Kansas City Area Shooters School

WOW would be the only word  capable of describing the days events on April 7th surrounding the 1st annual Kansas City Area shooters school.  As the days drew near to April 7th we realized that the initial thought of 75 students was going to be a low estimate. Additional classroom space was sought on the campus of the Longview Community College and the turnout proved this to be a valuable effort.  136 students received a certificate of completion for attending and completing either the basic class or the advanced section.

The day started with an NFPA-1123 presentation from Missouri State Fire Marshall's office investigator, Greg Carroll.  Covering the code and Missouri's specific laws over fireworks took us up to the noon break. Following lunch, which was served in the classroom at Longview,  students who wished to take the advanced class, left for the demo site at Raymore's City park. While the advanced class students worked through the afternoon in Raymore, learning the details of electronic firing as well as many other aspects of on site display fireworks, the basic class continued learning the essentials.

At around 5:00pm, Jill Eschete from Kansas State Fire Marshall's office administered the Kansas State Pyrotechnic Operators test. At 6:00pm both classes were brought back together at the Raymore site to handlight shells and see demonstrations on multi fusing techniques and finale fusing.  

Dinner was then served followed by a shell by shell demonstration of the effects and products offered by Premier Pyrotechnics Inc.  Students had the opportunity to see each effect and take a few moments to write down comments. 

The evening concluded with a Grand Finale with a two-fold mission.

Thank you's to Longview Community College for the classroom which was wonderful, The Missouri State Fire Marshals office for Greg's participation,  Jill from the Kansas State Fire Marshals office for testing us, Steve Schutz for the donuts and all the students for their hard work and attentiveness.

As a final note I would like to personally thank the City of Raymore for hosting our shoot site and arranging the police, fire and crowd control issues. We were very impressed with the level of cooperation we received from every member of the staff from the City of Raymore. As a final finale to the incredible day, the mayor of Raymore was one of the first to shake my hand following the demonstrations and ask me if we were going to make this an annual event.   My reply was simple, Yes.  He said he and the City of Raymore would be very happy to have us back and would work to provide the classroom as well as the shoot site for next year.  To that I say,Mr. Mayor......April 6th 2002, we start registration at 9:30 am class starts at 10am.    

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March 31, 2001

Richland, Missouri Shooters School

Over 150 students and staff participated in the Richland Missouri Shooters School and product demo Saturday, March 31st. The session started with a presentation from Bill Zieres on the current NFPA 1123 2000 edition regulations.  Zieres, a 22 year veteran with the Missouri State Fire Marshals office, has spent countless hours preparing one of the top 1123 lectures in the country.  Full of actual photos and localized information, the presentation was well received by the large group.  

After lunch the advanced class breakout sent the more experienced students into the field to prepare the nights demo and grand finale events while the 101 class provided an in-depth look into the world of safe pyrotechnic discharge.    Students then had the opportunity to do some hands on shooting of live products as well as learn to fuse finale and multi-shot events.  To top off the hand shooters outdoor work, a 3" finale rack was reduced to toothpicks as a 3" salute shell was intentionally placed upside down and ignited.  Students were quite amazed at the force exerted by a 3" shell and even veteran shooters reviewed their safety policies.  

Following the handshooters events, both classes were together again for a great homemade dinner prepared by Christy (notice the plug in hopes that she will do it again) which received many compliments to the cook.   The days events were caped off with the presentation of certificates of completion to students followed by the shells demonstration and finally the Grand Finale.  

If you missed the Richland school we invite you to attend the remaining classes and take in the truly Premier event.  For a complete listing of dates and locations click here.

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March 17, 2001

Arkansas Shooters School 2001

The first shooters training seminar of the year was a big success in Sherwood Forest, a community near Little Rock Arkansas held over St Patrick's weekend, March 17th 2001.  Not only was it the first of the year for Premier Pyrotechnics Inc, (PPI) but the first ever in Arkansas. Several towns from across the State of Arkansas were represented by enthused pyrotechnicians. The class, designed to educate shooters on the current laws as well as safety practices, was well received by all in attendance.

Following the classroom training, students were able to work "hands on" with product and hand shoot shells before witnessing thedestruction of a rack by placing a shell upside down intentionally and igniting.  Student were amazed by the power stored in a 3" shell and the safety aspects of shooting quality products in a safe manner were reinforced. After the dinner break attendees were treated to a shell by shell demo of the products offered by PPI and a Grand Finale to top off the days events.

Several seminars are planned across the Nation for 2001 at PPI training facilities.  To find the location and date near you check out the training page.

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Jan. 30, 2001

Missouri Shooters License Update

By Matt Sutcliffe 

The move to license display fireworks operators in Missouri has been slowed. New information was made available on January 23rd 2001 during a meeting held at the Missouri State Fire Marshals office in Jefferson City. Randy Cole, Assistant State Fire Marshall, told the group, the process of requiring shooters to be certified was not something that could be done with promulgation.  

It was thought that the process would be rather simple and the Fire Marshals office would add to existing law rather than create a new one. 

Upon review it was determined that the certification requirements would require a revision of Missouri State Statues. "This is not something that can be done in time for the 2001 season," said Cole.  "We are looking at implementing this for the 2002 season at this time."   A majority of the display companies operating in the state were on hand to provide input and hear what the states plans were.  Several questions were raised from both the state and the companies standpoints.  Sonya Wald of Wald Fireworks told the state officials that she was sure that the group would work in every way to assist the state in developing this program, to which most in the room agreed.    

Steve Franz of Western Enterprises provided great incite in corrections of terms and NFPA knowledge.  Franz is on the APA display committee as well as being involved with the development of NFPA 1123, 2000 edition.     Overall the group agreed that Missouri needed to adopt a certification program and was very impressed by the State Fire Marshals willingness to accept input from the industry.  

As for a time table to the implementation, the Missouri House will review the bill allowing for the process, and then vote on it.  The best case scenario would see a certification program in place for July 4th 2002.  Questions or input on this issue should be directed to the Missouri State Fire Marshals office. 

Emails can be sent to Randy Cole


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