Industry News
Written by Laura King
Aug. 1, 2017 – Fire-service equipment provider MSA has completed its $215-million acquisition of gear maker Globe.

MSA chairman and CEO William Lambert said Monday the transaction boosts the company’s position as a leader in the North American market for firefighter personal protective equipment .

“Globe is a highly recognized and respected brand of firefighter turnout gear, which very nicely complements our own line of firefighter protective equipment,” Lambert said in a press release.

“With virtually no product overlap, the acquisition aligns well with our corporate strategy in that it expands our core product portfolio in a key customer segment.”

Lambert said MSA can now help to protect firefighters from head to toe, with Cairns Helmets, the G1 self-contained breathing apparatus, and Globe turnout gear and boots.

MSA said Globe Manufacturing’s management team, including previous owners Don Welch, Rob Freese and Gef Freese, will continue to work for the company over the short term to ensure an effective transition.

Pittsfield, N.H.-based Globe is North America’s oldest and largest maker of firefighter protective clothing, having been founded in 1887. Globe launched its Athletix line of bunker gear in April.

MSA entered the breathing apparatus market in 1917; it has focused in the last few years on the customizable G1 SCBA and integrated thermal imaging camera.

MSA is based north of Cranberry Township, Pa.; it employs about 4,300 people worldwide, and has revenues of U.S. $1.15 billion in 2016.

Welch said when the deal was announced June 28 that it is a good fit for both parties, and ensures a solid future for Globe.
Written by IAFF Firefighters
The IAFF welcomes the federal government’s announcement of $80 million for a national Community Heroes Benefit for the families of Canada’s fallen fire fighters and other public safety officers. Ottawa's Mar. 22 announcement, is the culmination of a longstanding IAFF lobby for a public safety officer compensation (PSOC) benefit.

The IAFF commends Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Liberal Government and Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, for listening to the IAFF and other first responder agencies and for following through on a commitment to address this longstanding and important issue.

Goodale has been a long-time champion of the benefit. It was a key element of his private member’s motion, M-388, which was adopted in the House of Commons in 2012, and he moved the item forward swiftly after he was appointed Minister in 2015.

Thanks also go to the many IAFF members who helped lobby the issue on Parliament Hill at every edition of the IAFF Canadian Legislative Conference since 1992.

“The IAFF commends the Liberal Government for keeping its promise and for establishing a Community Heroes Benefit in Budget 2017,” says General President Harold Schaitberger. “This benefit will allow a grateful nation to formally recognize the sacrifices made by fallen fire fighters and other public safety officers and will ensure once and for all that their families don’t have to worry about their immediate financial security.”

The benefit, a one-time, tax-free and direct payment to the surviving family of fire fighters, police, paramedics and other public safety officers who die in the line of duty, establishes a minimum baseline of compensation that the survivors of all public safety officers across Canada are entitled to, regardless of the city or province in which they worked.

Budget 2017 provides $80 million over five years beginning in 2018-2019 for the benefit and $20 million thereafter.
Written by Maria Church
March 7, 2016 - Nozzle maker Task Force Tips, Inc., (TFT) has acquired AMKUS Rescue Systems, both companies announced on their websites last week. 

Indiana-based TFT manufactures nozzles, monitors, valves and foam systems. Headquartered in Illinois, AMKUS’s line of rescue products includes cutters, spreaders, push-pull rams, power units, auxiliary pumps and rope-rescue systems. 

AMKUS, according to a joint news release, will maintain its identity, distribution network and field managers, however all engineering, service and manufacturing operations will eventually transition to TFT’s headquarters in Valparaiso, Ind. 

“Task Force Tips' passion for developing products that save lives and protect property is a perfect fit for the continued expansion of the AMKUS Rescue System's product line,” the company stated in the release. 

Learn more at www.tft.com and www.amkus.com
Written by Maria Church
March 3, 2016 - The Alberta government is spending $650,000 to support fire and emergency-preparedness training for first responders in 50 municipalities and four First Nations. 

The funding is part of a Fire Services Emergency Preparedness Program aimed at volunteer and mutual-aid fire departments. The program will provide $500,000 for fire training and $150,000 for emergency management training in 2016. 

The grant program, according to a government news release, will help first responders develop the skills needed to respond effectively during fire and emergency events. 

“Local firefighters and emergency responders provide an invaluable service to their communities,” Danielle Larivee, Minister of Muncipal Affairs, said in the release. “Our government is proud to invest in emergency preparedness training as just one of the ways we will continue to help these individuals who help others.” 

Municipalities and First Nations that have mutual-aid agreements were given application priority, according to the release. 

For more information, including a list of the recipients, go to www.ofc.alberta.ca/grant-funded-training
Written by Maria Church
March 3, 2016 - In 1991, Kip Cosgrove moved to Canada to fill a market niche: to provide a national insurance option for firefighters.

Cosgrove brought the United States-based insurance company VFIS north of the border and at the 1991 International Association of Fire Chiefs conference held in Toronto, VFIS of Canada was launched.

"Because the program was so successful in the United States," Cosgrove said, "they felt that, hey, the Canadian fire service is very similar. Fighting fires is no different in Canada than in the U.S."

Now in its 25th year of business, VFIS of Canada insures more than 2,100 fire departments across the country.

VFIS of Canada pioneered several benefits that are now market standards, Cosgrove said, including cosmetic disfigurement from burns, and heart and circulatory malfunction.

Cosgrove is well known in the industry thanks to his presence at many conferences and trade shows. VFIS sponsors several associations and charities, finances educational guest speakers, and offers free educational programs to its clients.

"Today the volunteer firefighters needs to grab everything they can, and we really are giving them access to a lot of these great tools free of charge," Cosgrove said in an interview.

"If they weren't buying my program, I wouldn't be able to offer back anything, but because our program is taking off, we want to give back to the fire service."

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