It’s the end of October already. Where does the time go? How many of you get excited about Halloween? I know I do! One of the things that makes me even more excited each year is to see how many of our little Trick or Treaters are dressed like our Guardian Angels: Police Officers, Military, Fire Fighters, EMS and Security Guards. Did you ever choose a costume that ultimately became your profession? What would an office administrator’s costume look like? Nowhere near as exciting.
This month I’m excited to start our Guardian Angel winners with a gentleman who sent us his application way back on 01/30/21 (yes, we do go back that far as there are thousands of new submissions we select from each month!) He wrote about transitioning from a career in corrections, to his “dream of becoming a Police Officer”. Congratulations Mr. Pelko, and thank you for reminding us that sometimes, dreams do come true.
#1 Robert Pelko | Law Enforcement Officer
By wearing the Safe Life Defense Body Armor, I feel I would be able to better serve and protect those in the community I will be working for. I would feel safer when approaching a member of the community to better help and serve their needs.Like a door lock, you hope the lock is never used for what it is designed for. However, you as a user feel better knowing it’s there and is it good working order, keeping you and your loved ones safe.I should be selected as a recipient because ever since I was young, I’ve always wanted to be a police officer. I went to college and graduated with an associate degree in Criminal Justice and per the advice of my professors, I joined the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC). I’ve been working for the WI DOC for going on 12 years now. Yet, my passion has and still is being a police officer.This last December (2020), I was hired as a part – time Reserve Officer for the City of Jefferson and now have since interviewed and received a job offer to be a sworn Police Officer for the City of Jefferson. When I received the news from the Chief, I was overjoyed and overcome with emotions. I had finally made it and will start the Law Enforcement Standards Certification this July. As a result, I will have to leave my current position as a Correctional Sergeant to fulfill my dream in becoming a police officer.Owning body armor to me means I’m wearing an achievement and reminder of where I’ve come from to get to this point.My oldest son said to me on the way home from school one day, “Dad, I really hope you get this cop job. I know it’s what you really want. So, I really hope you get it someday.”
#2 Thomas Richard | Paramedic
By serving the Colorado communities of Denver and Golden, last year I logged more than 4000 hours working as a Medic and haven't slowed down. I am the lead field trainer paramedic at my agency, training new EMTs, Medics and Fire Fighters every week.
Being 6'7" it's hard enough to find clothes that fit and even harder to find gear. We buy all our own uniforms and PPE except what can be borrowed: Bunker gear, wet suits, PFDs, rescue helmets, and especially body armor. I currently have expired level II body armor with worn out Velcro that I share with three other shifts. Doesn't exactly fit like a glove.
As silly a reason as this may sound, it would be nice to be equipped like a professional and be taken seriously for a change.
#3 Craig Maconaghy | Fire Inspector
Through my employment as a Fire Inspector for the Town of Cheektowaga, I am responsible for responding to all Residential and Commercial structure fires, structural collapses, vehicles striking buildings, etc. plus Police related emergencies regarding over capacity parties, and other fire safety and public safety related issues. Almost every day of work is spent assisting someone on what could potentially be their worst day. No matter the time of day or night, in the great neighborhoods, or the not-so-great neighborhoods.
As a Fire Inspector, Assistant Fire Chief of a Volunteer Department and as my Fire District's Junior Firefighter Program Coordinator, almost every day of my life is dedicated to my community, and the protection thereof.
Owning, and wearing body armor to me means increased likelihood of coming home to my Wife, and dog, who would never understand why I never came home. It means being around to climb the 46 High-peaks of the Adirondack Mountains with my nephew when he is old enough. It means being here to respond to emergencies in my community with my brother and sister firefighters, and it means that I can be here to train and develop our Junior Firefighters to replace me when I'm too old to do it myself.