About two weeks ago, we had 5 people picked to receive body armor this month.
Well, that wasn't good enough. Safe Life Defense wants to support the people who are keeping America safe during the COVID-19 pandemic... so we doubled our body armor donation to 10 people.
Below are 10 wonderful humans who are working hard to help America during this time.
Please remember, we are all in this together. To our new Guardian Angels, welcome to the Safe Life Defense family and THANK YOU for all that you do. Stay safe!
This is Vincent's Story:
“I have been in EMS for almost ten years. I work in a rural area of northeast Pennsylvania. Around here we do not have city police, we have state police. With such a wide coverage area it can take a long time for police assistance to arrive.
Working in a rural area sometimes in very secluded parts of our coverage area all we have is our partner to help if something goes bad. With the opioid epidemic affecting people all over the country we have had a significant increase in overdoses in our area. With drugs comes crime, walking into an unknown situation unarmed when anything can happen is not a good feeling.
A call can go from 0-100 quick. Especially dealing with drug overdoses, domestics, suicidal patients, shootings, and stabbings. There has been an increase in violent assaults against paramedics.
Our job of being there to help people sometimes turns into us needing help.
We don’t get into this job for money. We do this job to help people in some of the worst situations with very little help. I believe I should be selected for this body armor because I work long nights in a job that at any second your life can be taken from you.
When focusing on patient care you never know who’s behind you or what’s behind that door. It can very easily turn into a life or death situation. Having a set of body armor would give me more peace of mind knowing that if something happens, I am protected and can live another day to help more people in need.”
This is Brittney's Story:
“During my course of day at work as an unarmed public safety officer, I regularly encounter patrons of the mall who are bringing weapons into a weapon free zone. Occasionally a fight or disturbance will break out and I will be one of the first on scene.My company will not provide armor, and I risk my life as well as the lives of the patrons of the mall when I respond to these events. I have no way to know until I arrive, or usually sometime later, if weapons will be involved. I will use this armor to protect the lives of my community and my fellow officers.”
Here is Danny's Story:
“As the lead Animal Control Officer for my town, I am responsible for handling EVERYTHING animal related. By wearing Safe Life Defense body armor, I will be able to put myself into situations where sometimes help is needed, but I am unable to engage due to a safety threat.
Animal Control Officers come across truly harrowing situations, and we all know how defensive we can be when it comes to our animals. By wearing proper protection, I will be able to be that first-on-the-scene responder and able to help immediately, rather than wait for my local police to secure a scene.
These situations can look like an animal abuse case, a citizen being attacked by a bear, (it's happened) or an individual who has barricaded himself in his room, armed with a knife, threatening to hurt himself and his dog (again, it’s happened.)
By being able to put my personal safety aside, I will be able to provide my community and the animals of my community the attention they deserve.
While we work collaboratively with my local police department, I fear that sometimes the danger to Animal Control Officers is not fully understood. Our calls can range from routine, like helping a cat stuck in a tree; to more critical; like convincing the shotgun-armed farmer that his animals need better care.
No law enforcement officer should have to second-guess their safety, and unfortunately our Animal Control department does not have a very large budget.
I have no doubt that my local police department would do anything they could do provide security on a scene, however as an officer who is constantly responding to animal-related calls on my own, it can sometimes take minutes for them to arrive.
Routinely, I will be the "go-to" officer if there’s anything involving an animal. Animals, both domestic and wild, can cause serious threats to bodily harm to both the public and arriving officers.
However, the animal itself is only one possible danger. The owners of an animal will routinely become defensive, and while I do not carry any weapons, I am still looked at as a law enforcement officer, and therefore, a threat.
We are doing our best to build this department from the ground up. Most Animal Control Departments are completely subjective to the officers in the department.
Myself and my fellow ACO have been advocating for some type of protective vests for quite a while now, and unfortunately our requests have fallen on (mostly) deaf ears.
Sometimes I fear the only thing that would change the current mindset is for an accident to happen, something I will not allow myself or my fellow ACO to be subject to.
Cases of Animal Control Officers being shot or stabbed in the line of duty is not a new development, and fortunately we're starting to see more and more departments around the country starting to take this seriously.
With that said, most towns and cities do not truly realize the threat that their ACO's are facing every day. We would also like to provide a certain presence in our town. We are not police, and we do not wish to be viewed as police, however we do wish to provide a professional image to our citizens, and we feel that proper equipment such as protective vests is an important step in that direction.”
Here is Traci's Story:
“The general public's perception of a private investigator is "that is pretty cool"! But the reality is that it is EXTREMELY dangerous. Most of the time we are solo with no back-up or precinct to call for help. One day I am sitting on surveillance of a cheating spouse (could get violent if I'm caught), the next I'm serving Personal Protection papers to a violent spouse.”
Here is Parker's Story:
“I am grateful for the opportunity given to me by the department to be employed by them and the equipment they give us to protect us. However, I feel like there is better equipment out there that can assist in protecting me and protecting others.
I cannot count the times I have shielded victims on scene, with my gun drawn, when the suspect comes back and is possibly armed.
I am no hero by any means and do not want to be viewed as such. I just feel that when something terrible is happening, I am always going to protect those who can’t protect themselves and run toward the scary things life throws at us.”
Here is Tyler's Story:
“I am an armed security guard in the state of Vermont. However, we’re in a state where the cost to live is extremely high. Our security company covers down on a lot of functions the police don't have the manpower to. I've been in the VTARNG for four years. I cover down on most school events.
I am passionate about security because it's not just watching an empty lot. I'm interacting with students, keeping them safe and giving them life advice, I wish I had.
I can put my uniform on and know I make a difference.
I know it takes the stress off the local police department because they are down on manpower. If I can help, I will.”
Here is Johnathan's Story:
“I’ve always wanted to help my community in some way so when I was 27 I joined the fire Dept that I’m still with today (12 years) and unfortunately as time goes on more and more it’s responders who are being attacked just for wearing a uniform.
And the cost of armor usually doesn’t fit the budget of most first responders as we would have to purchase our own. Our department doesn’t have the budget to outfit us as we are a volunteer unit.”
Here is Zebulun's Story:
“I work as a Police Officer in the city of Santa Fe. I am very attentive to my community and am a strong believer in community policing. I currently work weekends and I spend most of my time out of my patrol vehicle and inside businesses making community contacts.
Doing the best job possible also means using the best equipment possible and that is what Safe Life Defense is when it comes to body armor. If selected this body armor would play a role in my community policing initiative and would make me feel more confident in dangerous situations.”
Here is Timothy's Story:
“In the fall of 2018, the small community where I am employed as their only officer and carry the title Chief of Police, suffered the worst flood on record. Fast forward to winter 2020 and that small community is still struggling to recover. We lost 11 homes in this horrific tragedy and fortunately, no lives.
Over the coming week, I worked over 150 hours, sleeping for about 4 hours over the first 5 days, on the floor of my office.
I never once left the community and my family understood completely, in fact they helped to organize food drives and were instrumental in getting clean drinking water to the community, fast.”
Here is Brian's Story:
“I work for a private ambulance service as a paramedic and am also a volunteer firefighter. Our area is becoming increasingly more violent and drug infested.
Body armor would help me get to some folks a bit quicker as I would be able to enter a scene to render aid or evaluate scene safety sooner and safer, especially if our police are tied up on other incidents.
Sometimes in large groups it is hard to keep an eye on everyone and if they are trying to hurt you...
We have been having more and more gun related runs and stand by at police standoff situations. Our employer is not able to purchase body armor for everyone due to cost, so it is up to individual employees to purchase their own.
The cost of armor is not currently feasible for me due to bills and being a single parent.”
Thanks to everyone who applied this month! It is an honor to award you armor. You have earned it.
Remember, we are all in this together. Let's help all of America's first responders by practicing social distancing during this time.
If you or anyone you know needs body armor please go here to apply to Guardian Angel program for a vest donation. You can also check out our payment plan, Quadpay, to divide your armor into payments if needed.
You can click here to see our body armor shop and to learn more and to start prioritizing your safety.