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January 2023 Guardian Angel Winners

January 2023 Guardian Angel Winners

Posted by Safe Life Defense on 1st Feb 2023

I can’t believe it is already the end of January. Where does the time go? We’re all so busy making/breaking our New Year’s resolutions (join a gym, lose weight, learn a new skill) that the start of 2023 is already a blur (and a Brrr!)Did you know that January is named for the two-faced God, Janus? In mythology, Janus has a two-sided face that looks both forwards and backward at the same time, thus having the ability to look at both the past and the future simultaneously. I guess that’s why we start each year reviewing our successes and needs for improvement at the end of each year and begin our new year striving to improve on the past.

So, what do we resolve for 2023? To continue looking forward at how we may provide you with new and exciting products that will help to ensure your safety, and, to continue awarding free vests through our Guardian Angel program to people who represent our amazing community.

#1 Charlie Rader | Law Enforcement Officer

I am 40 and finally was able to make my dream come true of becoming a Sheriff’s deputy with the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office. Once I graduated FTO like almost all rookies I was placed in what is considered the worst part of Ascension….Donaldsonville (mini New Orleans). Most of the people we deal with on a regular basis really are good people that have just had some rough times in their lives. Unfortunately, we also deal with a lot of violent crime and the majority of the weapons we deal with are Rifles with extended magazines! Most deputies leave Donaldsonville the 1st chance they get, and I understand, but I actually want to stay and continue developing relationships with the community and show them that I’m not afraid of Donaldsonville and that I won’t abandon them just because it’s a rough area. I’ve been a Deputy for almost 2 years now and have had opportunities to leave and go to way better areas, but I truly feel if I stay and do everything in my power to be an officer who treats them with respect and doesn’t just leave them that I will be able to make a difference, especially once they continue to see that I didn’t just transfer to a better place and that I actually care and am there to help and serve them.

The vest I was given by the department doesn’t fit the best and doesn’t protect against any rifles. So, there are times that are just really stressful because we’re so out gunned over here and knowing that my vest won’t even protect against the weapons, I see them with on a regular basis it makes it hard sometimes to really do some of the things I want or be in some of the areas I want to be in to help.

Owning the right body armor to me means confidence and that confidence used the right way I feel helps me make the difference in Donaldsonville that I really want to make.

#2 Caleb Snyder | Paramedic

The sole purpose of this application is to receive body armor that I will use to protect myself while carrying out my duties as a full-time paramedic. I work for Wake County EMS in Raleigh North Carolina. I have been in EMS for three years, but this year I moved to Raleigh after finishing my paramedic program to begin working for one of the top agencies in the country. Part of my job is to intervene in situations where a patient needs to be chemically restrained due to violent and dangerous behavior. Even though it doesn’t seem like it to them in the moment this is what they need. Very few situations are bad people just trying to hurt EMS or my law enforcement partners. Many times, it is due to psychosis from mental health, heavy alcohol intoxication, illicit drug ingestion, among other reasons. It is important to safely control of these situations with medicine that only a paramedic can provide for the safety of EMS, law-enforcement, and the patient. The downside is these puts paramedics directly in the fray in dangerous uncontrolled situations.In the past two weeks, I personally have had a couple of close calls with violent individuals in the back of my ambulance. Paramedics respond to people on the worst days of their life, and in the worst situations. When people are under stress, or the influence of drugs and alcohol, they will do things that they wouldn’t normally do. During the stressful encounters, the situation can change in an instant, and I could be caught in harm’s way. That is why I have been looking for concealable body armor from a reputable company.

Even though it can be difficult and at times dangerous, I believe I work the best job in the world, and I hope to have a long and safe career as a paramedic. I believe that body armor is necessary in EMS today to help facilitate a long and safe career.

Most EMS agencies do not issue body armor, and I believe it is becoming a necessity. Your products and this program help to keep people safe.

#3 Ryan Baltazar | Law Enforcement Officer

I will be able to stay calm and collected during high stress calls, specifically those involving firearms. My primary objective is to de-escalate the situation while maintaining everyone's safety. Being calm myself will assist me in de-escalation. Being scared for my own life will only breed anxiety and stress which could cost a life. Wearing body armor will directly help me be a better police office, which in turn, will help me to interact with all members of my community in a more positive and calmer manor. Right now, I'm wearing safe life body armor that is rated for lower caliber firearms. This thought is always in the back of my head and with the opportunity to wear higher rated armor and still be able to do my daily tasks as a patrol officer will relieve the stress that comes with the job.

To say what feeling protected is like while in the line of duty is beyond words. Every day that I put on the uniform and badge I take a risk, my family takes a risk. Body armor significantly decreases that risk. It wasn't long after I was hired as a police officer that I brought home my duty vest to clean. When my wife saw the size of the Kevlar plate, she was at a total loss. I explained how strong it was and that it would protect my heart and lungs. She quickly pointed out that it was not enough. She's right, it's not. I really do try my best to be a good cop. To do the job well, protect others and come at the time of need. What I need in return, is to be protected, the best that I can be. This career is a big part of me, but who I am beyond the badge is the man I want to protect.

Owning body armor, to me, means a better chance of coming home to my family.