Thursday Morning – What Are You Wearing?
Since I haven't worn any firefighter protective clothing for more than 20 years, you'll have to forgive me when I tell you that I haven't heard of Fire-Dex before. At least that I can remember. I was kind of surprised when I read on their own promotional postings and WEBSITE that they "manufacture," or at least provide not just coats, gloves and stuff, but helmets and boots too.
You have probably heard of them before because, after doing a little browsing this morning, I saw that Fire-Dex had a booth at the FDIC this year. Their own promo that they posted for the guide book says:
Fire-Dex®, LLC has been in business since 1983, initially producing welding gloves. The company entered the fire service market with our fire fighter gloves in 1984, knit hoods in 1985 and gear bags and suspenders in 1986. Fire-Dex® started manufacturing fire fighting clothing, proximity clothing and EMS clothing in 1988: structural fire fighting gear now represents our largest product line. In 2001, we expanded our product line to include Wildland fire fighting clothing, and in 2003, added USAR (search & rescue apparel).
Well, there you have it. It's news to me.
What brought this to my attention today is a brief article in this morning's edition of the Hampton, Virginia, Virginian-Pilot that reports:
A fire-equipment dealer and manufacturer have reached a settlement with the city (of Virginia Beach) over firefighter gear that the city bought. The City Council approved the agreement at its meeting last week.
Dealer C.W. Williams and manufacturer Fire-Dex have agreed to pay the city $300,000, and the city will return the gear, according to the settlement.
From 2006 to 2009, the city bought 282 sets of turnout-gear coats and trousers and 13 additional trousers for nearly $374,500, according to the agreement. The city in 2009 expressed concerns to Fire-Dex about the design and physical condition of the gear.
The city had filed a lawsuit for damages after it was unable to reach an agreement with the dealer and manufacturer.
It doesn't get into any specifics of what design conflicts Virginia Beach had with the equipment or what problematic physical conditions they experienced. But this is unusual to say the least.
How about you? Are you familiar with Fire-Dex? I'm wondering where they rank on the list of PPE providers as to how much trade they have with the fire service (and not the welding community).
Speaking of equipment, we need to get our own looked at and inspected for today, so let's get started. I'll get more coffee going before we start some skimpy Googling as a substitute for real research. See you back in the day room.
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