LION Closes Out 125 Years in Business With an Eye Toward the Next 125 Years

December 5, 2023 | Steve Schwartz, CEO , TAGGED IN: Release Updates

LION Finishes 125 Years in Business With an Eye Toward the Next 125 Years

DAYTON, Ohio (December 5, 2023)
– This year, LION—the largest family-owned manufacturer of first responder personal protective equipment (PPE) and uniforms in the United States– celebrated 125 years as a family-owned business.

What began in 1898 as a dry goods store sold out of a horse-drawn wagon in Dayton has grown into a multi-million-dollar, multinational company. LION serves the PPE, uniform, and logistics needs for fire departments, law enforcement agencies, emergency services, and military markets around the globe. As a leader in the field of first responder training, they were the first company to develop digital training technology for firefighters.

“I am incredibly proud of our LION staff who commit themselves every day to help the first responder community stay ready for action with ever-changing hazards,” says LION CEO Steve Schwartz. “We are all-in on our mission to provide firefighters and first responders with the gear, training, and expertise they need to get their jobs done right and get home safely, now and for the next 125 years.”

LION has an industry-leading innovation team that works with experts, research centers, and police and fire departments from around the world to ensure that first responders are receiving the best protection possible when they run into harm’s way. Collaborating over the years with partners such as the Department of Homeland Security Technology Directorate and the North Carolina State University Textile Protection and Comfort Center, LION works tirelessly to bring the best industry innovations to our first responders.  

“The needs of first responders are changing as the threats they face become more complex,” says LION President Mark Smith. “First responders can count on LION to evolve with them. We understand the importance of placing customer intimacy first, listening, and focusing at all times on delivering innovative products and gear. It’s an honor to lead an industry whose mission is to protect those who protect us.”

In addition to PPE and uniforms, LION also develops training technologies for how firefighters can best respond to a range of different scenarios. From digital fire technologies to smoke simulators and intelligent equipment, LION ensures that first responders have the tools they need to be best prepared for whatever challenge they may face.

LION designs, manufactures and distributes performance uniforms for law enforcement, firefighters, EMS, and transportation professionals, including supplying 50 of the 100 largest fire departments in North America. It has approximately 1,200 employees.


About LION

Founded in 1898 and headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, LION is a family-owned company with a legacy and ongoing vision of introducing new products and services designed to ensure the health, safety, and performance of first responders worldwide. From game-changing personal protective equipment (PPE) and professional gear maintenance to state-of-the-art fire safety training tools and facilities, it is LION’s mission to make sure that you’re READY FOR ACTION — before, during and after. To learn more, visit


Media Contact

Hayley Tincu

Vice President of Marketing & Customer Experience

TAGGED: Release Updates

Steve Schwartz, CEO

Written by Steve Schwartz, CEO

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