WKYC reporter, Chris Webb, recently stopped by headquarters to speak with our VP of Operations, John Karban, and Chief Lou Anne Metz of Bainbridge Township Fire, about the importance of wearing lighter, more breathable PPE to reduce heat stress and provide protection against carcinogens for firefighters across the country. 🔥
Who helps those who save us? Fire-Dex may be a good answer to that question.
The Ohio-based company provides gear for one of the most important jobs in the world - fighting fires.
"We make clothing that a firefighter wears into a fire. From head to toe, the products that we offer whether it's lighter weight gear to protect them from heat stress or special particulate blocking layers in our ear that protects them from carcinogens," said Fire-Dex VP of Operations John Karban. "Firefighters have a very difficult job. We can thank them for their service protecting us and at Fire-Dex our job is to protect them as well."
It's a job that, in recent years, has gotten more difficult to fill positions, says Bainbridge Township Fire Chief Lou Ann Metz.
"I have 38 years in the fire service and I've been the chief here four years," she said. "In today's world, people are making a choice, do I want to take on that risk; cancer, the heart attacks, the danger of firefighting, the unpredictability of it. And with your gear, you need to know that that gear is going to perform."
Bainbridge is just one of the many departments across the country that have opted to start using Fire-Dex gear - manufactured right in Medina.
"We're a family-owned business. If you go to a fire department, it's a big family environment, and that sort of likens to the culture that we have here," Karban said.
Metz says the atmosphere in her firehouse is also one of family.
"We live a third of our lives with each other. We run three shifts - they work 24 hours on and then they're off 48 [hours], and so during that 24-hour shift, you're living together just like a family would. We have many of the same dynamics that families have."
And the Fire-Dex family is growing at a steady rate. They are currently seeking new trainees at their international headquarters right here in Northeast Ohio.
"We don't necessarily hire sewers to make this gear, we hire good employees and we'll train them on, on how to sew and how to manufacture the garments that help firefighters."
Metz says she's confident her staff have the gear they need to do their job safely.
"It's worth every penny, you know. How do you put a price on safety?"