How did we get our start?


HERE IS OUR HISTORY.

In 1994 Jim and his brother, Greg, were manufacturers' reps for commercial restaurant equipment. That year Jim, an Officer at East Brandywine Fire Company, and his wife attended the Harrisburg Fire Expo looking for equipment for the fire company. Jim noticed that a man was using restaurant equipment shelving to hang up turnout gear. A light went off in his head and he said, "I can do that…but I can do it better!"

That afternoon and he and Greg began designing their own turnout gear racks. Using only a bread tie, Jim designed the prototype for a special coat hanger that would keep the coat puffed open so the air would flow into the coat allowing it to dry more efficiently. Then he used the same idea to design a glove hanger. Jim and Greg set up and photographed their new shelving system they called "Gearmasters" in Jim's firehouse and advertised it in the PA Fireman magazine.

As Gearmasters took off and Jim started meeting with Fire Chiefs across the state, he noticed a common problem. Firefighters were syphoning parts from their new helmets to replace broken parts on their old helmets. That is when he got the idea to sell just the helmet parts. So, Jim contacted the major manufacturer of helmets and asked if he could just sell their parts. The biggest one agreed, thus started HelmetPartSource.com. Selling just helmet parts turned into selling previously owned helmets, then new helmets and gloves and eventually became America's premier supplier of public safety equipment, TheFireStore.com!


1972, Jim Witmer (second from the left)


East Brandywine Fire Company,
the first "Gearmasters" order still in
excellent condition 20 years later.


1990's, - Jim and Greg at the
PA State Fire Expo, Harrisburg,PA

1994
1996
1999
March 2004
October 2005
May 2007
October 2008
June 2009
2010
March 2011
July 2011
January 2012
October 2012
February 2013
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013
October 2013
November 2013
  • Started Gearmasters, Inc. to manufacture and market a new, custom designed line of station gear racks and lockers to the firefighting community.
  • Launched HelmetPartSource.com which featured replacement parts for firefighter's helmets.
  • Name Change – from HelmetPartSource.com to TheFireStore.com
  • Purchased a 5,000 square foot building with a storefront in Downingtown, PA
  • Established an Outside Sales & Service Department to serve the tri-state area of Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania with regional sales and more service-intensive products.
  • Launched OfficerStore.com focusing on the law enforcement industry.
  • Built a new 35,000 square-foot facility in Coatesville, PA., housing our large showroom, warehouse and distribution facilities, and corporate headquarters. 
  • Acquired Pennsylvania Police Supply, expanding law enforcement product lines and gaining critical industry knowledge and experience.
  • Acquired Moul Enterprises and Mason-Dixon Fire Equipment resulting in expanded Outside Sales & Service Department that serves Maryland, northern Virginia and West Virginia as well as eastern Ohio.
  • Changed corporate name from Witmer Associates, Inc. to Witmer Public Safety Group, Inc. to better reflect the industry we serve.
  • Launched Facebook pages for TheFireStore.com and OfficerStore.com 
  • Built a new adjoining 29,000 square-foot warehouse and distribution facility to expand stocking of key products and also implement a more streamlined distribution process.
  • Launched the mobile version of TheFireStore.com
  • Launched TheFireStore.com blog called “On-Scene”
  • Launched theEMSstore.com to better serve the special needs of emergency medical service customers.
  • Launched TheFireStore.com on New Platform
  • Launched OfficerStore.com on New Platform 
  • Launched the Mobile version of OfficerStore.com
  • Launched the Mobile version of theEMSstore.com
  • Launched Facebook based Wish List program for TheFireStore.com
  • Launched HomeSafetyStore.com to offer the general public access to professional grade safety equipment for their homes and small businesses.
  • Launched GideonTactical.com to meet the growing demand by tactical operators and shooting enthusiasts for highly specialized, mission specific gear.
  • Launched Loyalty/Rewards Program across all 5 e-commerce sites, the first program of its kind within the public safety equipment industry.
 

Witmer Public Safety Group has 8 ecommerce websites designed to bring Safety Equipment
to those who need it the most. You can count on us to provide quality products at competitive
prices with a level of customer service that you won’t find anywhere else in the industry.

WITMER PUBLIC SAFETY GROUP, INC


104 Independence Way, Coatesville, PA 19320
Phone: 800.852.6088 Fax: 888.335.9800
© Witmer Public Safety Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.