Fire-Dex Acquires Chieftain Safety

Fire-Dex, one of the nation’s largest firefighter turnout gear manufacturers, has acquired Chieftain Safety Manufacturing, a provider of top-quality firefighter protective gear.

The combined entity will be based at Fire-Dex’s headquarters in the Cleveland suburb of Medina, Ohio, and will have approximately 200 employees between Medina and Chieftain’s production facility in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

The merger will increase Fire-Dex’s work force by 10 percent in Medina in the near term as a result of transferring several managers and some production from Mexico to Medina, the company said.

Fire-Dex and Chieftain are to be run as separate operations and separate brands, according to the company. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We are thrilled about this acquisition, which is a major event in our industry and for our customers, distributors and suppliers,” said Fire-Dex President Bill Burke. “The transaction will make Fire-Dex a larger, stronger company and create new opportunities for our people and our partners. The addition of the Chieftain line will enable us to offer customers a stronger market presence, best-in-class distribution, and broaden our line of quality products.”

He noted that Fire-Dex is the only turnout provider to manufacture premium NFPA hoods and gloves and to enable firefighters to personalize their turnout gear. “With the Chieftain acquisition, we are acquiring the added capability of manufacturing our own firefighting helmets,” he said.

Chieftain was a division of The Protective Group. “Since our main business is with the military and security markets we felt that the sale of our Chieftain Safety division to Fire-Dex was prudent,” said Ed Careaga, CEO of The Protective Group. “This will allow TPG to focus on our core business.”

Fire-Dex is celebrating its 25th anniversary as a leader in the fire service market.

Chieftain Safety Manufacturing has been providing firefighters with protective gear since 1927. Chieftain turnout gear is UL certified to meet NFPA standards.

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