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Proud History

Our roots extend back to 1913 when Russian immigrant Ben Rudick began his contracting company in Ohio’s Mahoning Valley. Quickly establishing a reputation for high-quality work and exceptional ethical standards, the company grew steadily, even successfully weathering the challenges posed by the Great Depression.

The 1940's saw the second generation of the family enter into the business. During his days at Carnegie Tech University in Pittsburgh, Ben’s son Milt worked part time at the company. Upon graduation, young Milt joined the firm full time. Over the ensuing decades, the company flourished in terms of business and reputation under Milt’s leadership.

When Milt's son, Jerry, graduated from Ohio University, he entered the business and immediately began concentrating on insurance claims. Realizing the need in the area for this service, the company decided to add a d.b.a. to the company name and National Fire & Water Repair was born.

With the overwhelming success of the insurance claim business, the commercial and industrial contracting side of the company was slowly phased out. The growth of this sector of the business was due largely to Jerry's computer programming ability. His development of revolutionary new software aided in the estimating of construction jobs. It was in 1990 Milt then decided to sell the company to his son Jerry.

The first non-Rudick family member to take over the reins of the company is the present owner, Paul Clouser, who came to work for Ben Rudick & Son d.b.a. National Fire & Water Repair as an estimator in 1990.  Paul is a graduate of Warren G. Harding High School and Youngstown State University with a B.S.A.S. in Electrical Engineering.  Once at the helm, Paul expanded the services and service area of the company by adding remodeling work.

Paul's philosophy on business remains true to the founder Ben Rudick: be fair and honest to everyone – customers, suppliers, adjusters and employees.

Local Ownership

Since 1913 the company has been owned and operated by people who live in the community.
They have been in construction all their lives and understand the needs and concerns of their hometown.

National Fire & Water Repair is NOT a franchise. Our profits, taxes and wages are spent and invested locally. We buy locally – we purchase materials and services from LOCAL suppliers and contractors.

We are proud of this community and we believe in giving back. Both management and employees contribute to local charities and regularly participate in community events such as Relay for Life, Heart Walk and the United Way campaign. Other organizations we support are The Salvation Army, St. Jude's Children's Hospital, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, Alzheimer's research and Someplace Safe.

Our Mission

The mission of Ben Rudick & Son, Inc. / National Fire & Water Repair is threefold.

FOR OUR CUSTOMERS, we will provide the highest quality of construction and outstanding customer service at a fair price.

FOR OUR EMPLOYEES, SUPPLIERS AND SUB CONTRACTORS, we will provide a safe workplace, fair wages & benefits and a rewarding work environment.

FOR OUR COMMUNITY, we will provide desirable employment opportunities, support local charities, reinvest in the community through taxes, wages & profits and consistently strive to promote pride in our community.


One reason for our company's success is our people. We have been fortunate over these many years to have dedicated, customer-focused employees who embrace our firm’s core mission. A number of employees have been with us for over 25 years. We have 34 total employees with combined experience of 233 years. A stable, committed workforce like this ensures we will continue to provide the highest level of service available in the restoration industry.

Every member of the National Fire & Water Repair team is a trained professional, each with a specific area of expertise and experience. This allows us to deliver the highest level of service possible to our clients. We also maintain a very stringent hiring policy which ensures we employee only the best, most reliable people. Pre-employment background checks and drug screenings are required of all new hires.

A Word From Our President

As a Warren G. Harding and Youngstown State University graduate, many people told me to “get your degree and get out of here.” It just didn’t resonate with me. With so many choosing to leave, I chose to stay. I guess I have always been an optimistic person, but I truly believe the worst is behind us and better days are ahead. I love this area. I was 14 years old on “Black Monday” (September 19, 1977) which was the day when the first large steel mill shut down in the area. My formative years were not defined by steel, so I don’t see this area as a "steel town."

Instead, what I have seen and experienced in this area is great people, affordable housing and a new light for the future. We are ideally situated an hour from Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Akron/Canton and only a short drive from New York, Chicago and Washington D.C. There are great sports at the professional, amateur and high school level, golfing, shopping, parks, hunting, fishing, lakes, colleges, wineries and the list goes on and on. When I hear people put the area down, it really disappoints me. Like anything else, you only get out of it what you put into it. Let the naysayers’ days be numbered. As the next generation (not defined by the steel mill years) takes the helm of commerce in the area, know that better days are ahead.

You can help the cause. Tell everyone why you love our community. Support local businesses, entertainment, sports and charities. Be politically educated and active.