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Fire-Dex Adds On

Fire-Dex, a Medina, Ohio-based maker of firefighter turnout gear, has acquired Chieftain Safety Manufacturing, a provider of firefighter protective gear. No financial terms were disclosed. Fire-Dex is backed by StoneCreek Capital and Brown Brothers Harriman.


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

The combined entity will be based at Fire-Dex’s current 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 grow Fire-Dex’s work force by 10% in Medina in the near term as a result of transferring several managers and some production from Mexico to Medina. Fire-Dex intends to run Fire-Dex and Chieftain as separate operations and separate brands. 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 Bill Burke, president of Fire-Dex. “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 in personal fire protective equipment.”

Ed Careaga, CEO of The Protective Group, stated, “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.  This will allow TPG to focus on our core business.  Likewise, with Fire-Dex’s current presence in the fire service market it will allow Chieftain to move forward as part of a company that spends 100% of their time focusing on fire fighter protective equipment. This should place Chieftain Safety in an environment where the current employees can flourish and continue to gain market share.

Burke noted that Fire-Dex is currently the only turnout provider to manufacture premium quality 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.

Fire-Dex is a quality manufacturer of NFPA compliant protective turnout gear for firefighting and emergency response personnel.  Fire-Dex is proud to be celebrating their 25th anniversary as a leader in the fire service market.

Chieftain Safety Manufacturing has been providing firefighters with the protective gear they need to get the job done since 1927. Chieftain turnout gear is UL certified to meet all current NFPA standards.