CertaSite Merges 3 Businesses to Form Life-Safety Firm Advanced Fire

Combining forces with the Advanced family of businesses marks private equity-backed CertaSite’s largest expansion since it launched in 2018.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — CertaSite, based here, announces the merging of Advanced Fire Co., Approved Fire Protection and Advanced Fire & Security to form Advanced Fire.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Combining forces with the Advanced family of businesses marks CertaSite’s largest expansion since it launched in 2018.

CertaSite is led by CEO Jeff Wyatt, who has more than 30 years of experience in the fire protection and life-safety industry. He most recently served as president of Koorsen Fire & Security, one of the largest privately owned life-safety companies in the industry. He started his career in the profession as an installation technician and is a veteran of the U.S. Navy. Wyatt was recruited to lead CertaSite by The Riverside Co., a global private equity firm that is CertaSite’s primary investor.

A three-generation family business that started with door-to-door fire extinguisher sales in 1957, the Advanced family of businesses has grown to three separate companies with a legacy of comprehensive offerings, strong customer service and a sustainable model for growth, according to the announcement. The company says that its solid reputation in the tri-state area, along with its community-driven approach, will allow it to grow its customer base and expand into new markets under the CertaSite platform.

More than 100 employees are joining the CertaSite family under the Advanced brand, serving a network of more than 5,000 customers representing schools, government agencies and businesses of all sizes.

“CertaSite and Riverside are the perfect partners to build on the foundation laid by our employees and customers,” says Advanced Owner Ronald Cruder. “As I set my sights on what is next for our company and how we could enrich our customers’ experience, shared values and a code of ethics for saving lives and securing property were key considerations in this important decision.”

He continues, “From the beginning, our company has had a laser focus on the customer, and this partnership with CertaSite will enable us to strengthen our investments in the community and the customer experience. We are excited to expand these capabilities, and establish an even deeper presence in our community.”

The merger with Advanced Fire continues CertaSite’s expansion in western Pennsylania. County Fire Protection joined the CertaSite family in 2018, and serves customers in Kent, Columbus, Toledo and Rimersburg, Pa. Bill Holmes, director of operations, will oversee the Advanced Fire operations.

“We are grateful to Ronald Cruder and the Advanced family for their continued partnership throughout this process,” say Wyatt. “We are committed to preserving the legacy that these dedicated professionals built, and we recognize and respect their strong local presence. Our team will provide our new employees with development and career advancement, and expanded services and support to customers. We are thrilled to be expanding our unique brand of customer service in this market.”

CertaSite has acquired eight fire protection and life-safety companies and is actively engaged in bringing new businesses under the company’s umbrella. To date the CertaSite family includes: ABC Fire Extinguisher Co. (Ohio); Approved Protection Systems (Michigan); Approved Safety and Security (Indiana); Company One Suppression (Illinois and Iowa); County Fire Protection (Ohio); Erlich Fire Protection (Michigan); Field’s Fire Protection (Michigan); and Spears Fire & Safety (Michigan).

Markets of focus for 2020 include Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee, according to the announcement.

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