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Home / firefighter helmets

Riverside firefighting equipment firm celebrates 50-year milestone 

A Riverside-based manufacturer of helmets used by firefighters throughout the world marked its golden anniversary in 2022, the city announced. 

“In 1972, two fire captains set out to leave the world a better place by creating a safer firefighting helmet — to protect and serve those who protect and serve,” the city of Riverside said in announcing the company’s longevity milestone. “Fifty years later, with nearly 40 employees and thousands of customers worldwide, that vision still acts as a guiding light for firefighting equipment manufacturer Phenix Technology, Inc.”

Phenix makes three types of helmets assembled in Riverside including the TL-2 traditional leather helmet, the TC-1 traditional composite helmet, and the First Due modern thermoplastic helmet, according to the city’s announcement. The company’s staff boasts a total of more than 150 years of combined firefighting experience, and that deep product knowledge gives Phenix a strong advantage.

Chloe Carriere, Phenix’s customer experience manager, said that although she is not a firefighter, she has experienced the fear of losing her Southern California home.

“Firefighters are privy to the worst days of peoples’ lives, and they’ve been privy to some of mine,” Carriere said in a statement. “We all feel a deep appreciation for what our customers do.”

This heartfelt approach contributed to Phenix’s unprecedented growth, particularly in the last decade under the leadership of Angel Sanchez Jr. — the director of global operations turned CEO. 

The company significantly expanded its international reach, “stretching from Chile to Canada to Thailand, while strengthening its domestic footprint and earning numerous awards, including the prestigious 2018 Presidential ‘E’ Award,” according to the city of Riverside. “The award is the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports.”

In addition to scaling the business, Phenix also developed an “award-winning, lean, people-centric culture” that it shares via weekly immersion tours, the city reported. Thousands of people from more than 25 nations have studied the Phenix business culture, especially those in its own Inland Empire backyard.

“We’ve been lucky to host well over a thousand global and local Riverside business professionals who toured our facility and spent time with our people to learn how we operate to apply those ideas and strategies in their workplaces,” Carriere said.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Phenix’s staffing has increased 75%, according to the city. 

“This explosive growth led Phenix to a new location in 2021, and the choice to stay in Riverside was obvious. Over 80% of the company’s vendors are within 60 miles of its headquarters,” according to the city.

“We are fortunate to have so many local resources, mentors, and partners in Riverside,” Carriere said. “We needed to find a building that would keep us in the area we love, where we have such great support.”

The company marked its 50-year anniversary last fall with the opening of its new facility in Riverside’s Hunter Park area, according to the city. More than 100 people attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony, including local firefighters, government officials, business professionals and friends.

On the horizon for Phenix is exploring the prospect of designing and manufacturing other firefighting tools and protective equipment and also removing barriers to employment for those with disabilities through its Opportunity for All program.

“Phenix Technology has been committed to better products, better people, and a better world for over 50 years,” Riverside Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson said in a statement. “Phenix’s leading example empowers all of us to raise our ambitions and use our resources to expand Riverside’s global footprint.”

For more about the company, visit www.phenixfirehelmets.com.

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