Thursday, August 30, 2012

US Army Hero In Action - Ryan McIntosh

His name is Ryan McIntosh.  He's 23-years old.  Married.  Has a 16-month old son.

In this photo he's a ballboy in a tennis tournament - the 2012 US Open.  But you may notice his right leg is a C-shaped prosthesis.

Ryan grew up in Colorado as a high school track star.  He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds.  He planned to run track and play football at Graceland College (in Iowa).  But he changed his mind and enlisted in the US Army to become a soldier.  He then went off to Fort Benning, GA for basic training.

He was deployed to Afghanistan in October 2010, and two months later he lost his leg when he stepped on a land mine near Kandahar.  He and his unit were walking through the very dangerous Arghandab River Valley when he stepped on the mine which launched him 10 feet in the air.  As a result, his leg was amputated just below the knee.

Since then he has bravely moved forward with life.  His wife gave birth to their first child in April 2011!  He works for the US Army at Fort Sam Houston (in San Antonio) as the Adaptive Sports Coordinator - helping other wounded soldiers rehab and recover.

Out of 600 people who applied to be ballboys at this year's US Open, Ryan was 1 of 250 chosen.  Next year he plans to compete in the Warrior Games for wounded US Military soldiers.  And his ultimate goal is to compete in the 2016 Paralympics in Rio De Janeiro!

His physical strength and overall story are inspiring.  But Ryan says the most challenging aspect of his recovery is the psychological trauma.  Nightmares often haunt him.  And blasts, like the opening ceremony fireworks, are "gut-wrenching."

But he presses on.  Ryan says, "When I was growing up, my dad was always my coach, always right by my side.  That's what I want to do with my son."

This young man is a US Army Hero In Action!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Woman's Accelerator Gets Stuck - Lauri Ulvestad

On Sunday (8/19/12) a woman from Iowa was driving through Missouri when her brakes failed and her accelerator got stuck!

The vehicle then forced her to speeds of nearly 120 MPH!  Shockingly she covered 59 miles in 35 minutes!  That's an average of 101 MPH!!

The driver was Lauri Ulvestad, 47, from Ames, Iowa.  She was driving a 2011 Kia Sorrento on Interstate 35 in Missouri.  She called 911 when she realized what was happening, and the Highway Patrol was dispatched to escort her - one patrol car in front of her and one in back.

Despite a patrol car in front of her with lights and sirens blaring, some drivers on the highway stayed to the left and did not move to the right, so Lauri was forced to weave through traffic.  Three times she had to drive off the left shoulder and then manage her vehicle back on to the highway ... without over-correcting.

Fortunately no one was injured.  Finally her vehicle came to rest when she lifted the accelerator and pressed on the brake.

Amazingly, a dashboard camera in the car of the police officer behind Lauri captured her incredible driving skills...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Southern California Police Officer - Kevin Killian

This is Kevin Killian.  In September 2003 he joined a Southern California Police Department.  After just 5 days on the force he was driving home from a night shift when he fell asleep at the wheel of his car.

He collided with a bridge abutment.  And this is what happened...

He was rushed to the hospital by ambulance, but was unconscious.  His wife spent the next 28 days at his side as he lay in a coma.  She left their two young boys with her mom.  And her only prayers were for Kevin to remember her and remember their boys.  She did not care if he walked or talked again, she just did not want to be forgotten.

Remarkably, Kevin awoke from his coma with no long-term effects.  He immediately remembered his family.  And through extensive therapy he learned how to walk and talk again.

In January 2004 (just 4 months later) Kevin returned to light duty as a Police Officer with his Police Department.  And in mid-2004 he returned to active duty.

Nowadays, Kevin is a strong man with a terrific mind and an entertaining personality.  So much so that Public Safety Stores has chosen Kevin to review products.  He will be given the products at no cost and asked to do two things: (1) test the products (2) film a video review of the products.

Next month we will post product reviews from Kevin where he will talk about:
  • Uses for the product
  • Advantages of the product
  • Concerns with the product
  • The product's "KevStar" rating

The first 2 products Kevin will talk about are the Streamlight Stinger DS LED HP Flashlight and the new Streamlight SolarStream.

If you have a request for products to be reviewed, let us know!!  Email us at:

Thanks to Officer Kevin Killian for doing this!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Firefighter Invents a Water Misting Station for Heat Relief

Mike Robinson is a reserve firefighter in Knoxville, TN.

He was experiencing the heat of firefighting, and especially the heat of summer, when he designed a better (and less expensive) water misting station.

As we all know, the summer heat fuels very active wildfire seasons.  Even now, firefighters are battling wildfires in WashingtonNorthern CaliforniaSouthern CaliforniaOklahomaIdahoOregon and more.

So Mike developed a water misting station which hooks up to any fire service apparatus with water and a pump.  It blows water through a stainless steel nozzle, which produces a mist cloud capable of lowering the ambient temperature by as much as 30 degrees.  Pretty cool!!

Protect yourself from the heat with Mike's idea, and others such as:

It's been a hot summer with active wildfires burning vigorously.  Year-to-date 6 million acres have burned, fueled by widespread drought conditions.

The heat is on!  Find a way to chill out!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Police & Fire Games - National and Worldwide

We recently mentioned Public Safety professionals competing for Team USA in the Olympics.  This coverage turned out to be quite popular!!

But while the Olympics dominate in terms of size (10,000+ competitors in Summer Olympics and 4,000+ in Winter Olympics) ... did you know these events hold 2nd and 3rd place:

That's right!  Let's look at each.


1967 ... the California Police Olympics inaugurated in San Diego, founded by a local Police Lieutenant (Veon "Duke" Nyhus)
1967 - 1989 ... the event continued to be called the California Police Olympics
1990 - 1999 ... the name changed to the California Police Summer Games
2000 - 2004 ... the name changed to the California Police & Fire Games, because firefighters were invited
2005 - 2011 ... the name changed to the Western States Police & Fire Games, because participants from outside California were invited
2012 ... the name changed to the US Police & Fire Championships, because eligible participants are now Law Enforcement Officers and Firefighters, from all 50 US states and territories, both Active and Retired

45 years after founding this local competition, it has become a National Championship with 60 events!  The tournament is held Annually.  It is managed by the California Police Athletic Foundation (CPAF), a Non-profit corporation governed by active and retired police officers.


1985 ... the World Police & Fire Games inaugurated in San Jose, CA
1987 ... the Games were held in San Diego, CA
1989 ... Vancouver, Canada
1991 ... Memphis, TN
1993 ... Colorado Springs, CO
1995 ... Melbourne, Australia
1997 ... Calgary, Canada
1999 ... Stockhold, Sweden
2001 ... Indianapolis, IN
2003 ... Barcelona, Spain
2005 ... Quebec City, Canada
2007 ... Adelaide, South Australia
2009 ... British Columbia, Canada
2011 ... New York City, NY
2013 ... the Games will be held in Belfast, Northern Ireland
2015 ... Fairfax County, Virginia
2017 ... Montreal, Canada

The World Games have 67 events.  The tournament is held Biennially.  And it is also managed by the CPAF.

Both competitions promote fitness and sports as a way for Public Safety professionals to (1) improve their health (2) reduce stress and (3) expand their skills and abilities.

Let us know if there are other Games or competitions we should feature!  This is fun stuff to cover!!

And check out this video from the June 2012 US Police & Fire Championships...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Public Safety Professionals who were London Olympians - Final Results


The 2012 London Olympics have come to a close, and Team USA won the Overall Medal Count.

Over the last two weeks we have mentioned many athletes from the Public Safety community -- Police, Fire, EMS and Military personnel -- who were London Olympians.

Two of them earned GOLD MEDALS -- Kayla Harrison and Vincent Hancock!!!

Today we give you the results of everyone we mentioned, and many more we did not have a chance to mention.  Proudly enjoy what these world class athletes (22 total) achieved for Team USA and the Public Safety community!!!

Dennis Bowsher - US Army
Modern Pentathlon - 32nd place

Dremiel Byers - US Army
Wrestling - Quarterfinals

Glenn Eller - US Army
Shooting - 22nd place

Joe Guzman - US Army
Boxing Coach - Various

Vincent Hancock - US Army
Shooting - GOLD MEDAL!!!

Kayla Harrison - EMT and Firefighter to-be
Womens Judo - GOLD MEDAL!!!

Jamel Herring - US Marines
Boxing - Round of 32

David Johnson - US Army
Shooting Coach - Various

Weston Seth Kelsey - US Air Force
Fencing - 4th Place

Ben Lee - Palo Alto, CA Police Department
Badminton Coach - Various

Justin Lester - US Army
Wrestling - Quarterfinal

Charles Leverette - US Army
Boxing Coach - Various

Spenser Mango - US Army
Wrestling - 9th Place

Michael McPhail - US Army
Shooting - 9th Place

John Nunn - US Army
Race Walk - 43rd Place

Jason Parker - US Army
Shooting - 30th Place

Joshua Richmond - US Army
Shooting - 16th Place

Keith Sanderson - US Army
Shooting - 14th Place

Daryl Szarenski - US Army
Shooting - 23rd Place and 28th Place

Eric Uptagrafft - US Army
Shooting - 16th Place

Sandra Uptagrafft - US Navy
Shooting - 28th Place

Jimmy Watkins - Kern County Fire Station #55 (in Bakersfield, CA)
Cycling - 6th Place

And one more time for the grand finale ... GO TEAM USA!!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Army Sergeant and Pistol Champ - Daryl Szarenski

US Army Sergeant Daryl Szarenski is a top performing Pistol Shooter and part of the US Army World Class Athlete Program (WCAP).  Dennis has a long history of representing Team USA Shooting.  In fact, this is his 4th trip to the Olympics!!

Dennis' accomplishments include:
  • 2-time Pan Am Games Champion
  • 3-time USA Shooting Pistol Shooter of the Year
  • 3-time All American
  • 4-time Olympic Team Member
  • 5-time World Championship Team Member
  • 7-time USA National Champion

As an expert marksman for the US Army, Dennis has proven his enduring skill over many years.  It's even a family thing - his wife (Amy) is a former member of the USA Shooting team!

Dennis started shooting as a youngster in the late 1970s when his father entered him in a junior shooting program.  He went on to Tennessee Tech University as a pistol and rifle shooter on scholarship.

Dennis' competitions in the 2012 London Olympics have been completed.  He shot in the Mens 50m Pistol event and the Mens 10m Air Pistol event.  He represented Team USA, and the US Army, proudly!

Hats off to Dennis!  Go Team USA!!

And check out this video of Dennis earning a Gold medal at the ISSF World Cup 2010...

Thursday, August 9, 2012

US Army World Class Athlete - Race Walker John Nunn

John Nunn is a sergeant in the US Army and member of Team USA Track and Field.

John is competing in the 2012 London Olympics in the 50 km Race Walk.  50 km = 31.1 miles.  The Race Walk has been an Olympic event since 1904.  And the rules of Race Walking are this...

  • One foot must be on the ground at all times
  • As one foot hits the ground, the knee above it must be straight

At first it sounds simple enough... walk 31 miles.  But remember, that's 5 miles longer than a marathon and "fast walking" is often considered as much (or more) of a challenge than running.  Try it sometime and you'll see what we mean!!

When he was a kid, back home in Indiana, John was first introduced to Race Walking by family members.  This led him to compete on a full ride scholarship at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.  Like many others, John is now part of the US Army World Class Athlete Program (WCAP) in Colorado Springs.

This is John's 2nd Olympics (1st was the 2004 Athens Olympics).  And this Olympic trip follows a long list of accomplishments:

  • 2003 USATF Indoor National Championships - Silver medal
  • 2003 USATF Outdoor National Championships - Bronze medal
  • 2004 USATF Indoor National Championships - Silver medal
  • 2004 US Olympic Trials - Silver medal
  • 2006 USATF Outdoor National Championships - Silver medal
  • 2010 USATF National 20 km - Champion
  • 2011 USATF Outdoor National 20 km - Champion
  • 2011 Pan Am Cup 20 km Team - Silver medal
  • 2011 Pam Am Cup 20 km Trials - Bronze medal
  • 2012 US 50 km Olympic Trials - Champion

John's personal best in the 20 km (12.4 mile) Race Walk is 1:22:31.  Those are 6 minute 36 second miles.  Pretty fast for walking!!

John has said his training in the Army (from basic training onward) has taught him the skill of discipline and helped him focus on benchmarks.  He plans to continue his service in the Army after these Olympics!

The 50 km Race Walk event takes place on Saturday, Aug 11th

Check out this video of John talking about his training and preparation...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Army Sergeant Shoots to Olympic Gold - Vincent Hancock

We have mentioned several members from the Public Safety community who are competing in the 2012 London Olympics - an EMT, Firefighter, Police Officer and Army Soldiers.  One has already earned a Gold medal - Kayla Harrison.  Here's another Gold medal winner!!

Vincent Hancock won his first World Championship in Skeet Shooting when he was 16 years old (in 2005)!  Now at 23 years old he has 2 Olympic Gold medals!!  Here's a look at his history of Gold medals, this does not include the long list of additional medals he has earned:

  • 2005 Championship of the Americas - Gold (tied World Record)
  • 2005 World Cup Changwon - Gold (set World Record)
  • 2005 World Championship - Gold
  • 2006 Spring Selection - Gold
  • 2007 Fall Selection - Gold
  • 2007 World Cup Italy - Gold (set World Record)
  • 2007 Pan Am Games - Gold
  • 2008 World Cup Suhl - Gold
  • 2008 BEIJING OLYMPICS - GOLD (set Olympic Record)
  • 2009 National Championship - Gold
  • 2009 World Championship - Gold
  • 2010 National Championship - Gold
  • 2010 Fall Selection - Gold
  • 2011 Pan Am Games - Gold
  • 2012 National Championship - Gold
  • 2012 LONDON OLYMPICS - GOLD (set Olympic Record)

Vincent is the first Olympian to win back-to-back Gold medals in the Skeet Shooting event.  He broke his own Olympic Record to win this Gold by hitting 123 of 125 targets in Qualifying, and nearly achieved overall perfection by hitting all 25 targets in the Final for a total score = 148 of 150.

Vincent is stationed in Fort Benning, GA where he is a Sergeant with the US Army Marksmanship Unit.  He is also married with two children.

CONGRATS to Vincent and Go Team USA!!

Celebrate with Vincent and watch this video of him talk about winning Olympic Gold (again!) for Team USA!!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Pentathlete and US Army Soldier - Dennis Bowsher

If you don't know about the Modern Pentathlon, here's a quick lesson.

The Modern Pentathlon has 5 events:

  • Fencing
  • Shooting
  • Equestrian
  • Swimming
  • Running

It was created in 1912 for the Olympics that year.  At the time it represented the skills of an ideal soldier - one who could fight with a sword, fight with a pistol, ride a horse, swim and run.  This year, the Modern Pentathlon celebrates 100 years of continuous competition in the Olympic Games!

Team USA is sending an Army soldier and accomplished Pentathlete to represent us - Dennis Bowsher.  Dennis has several medals in national competition:
  • Gold - 2005 US National Championships
  • Bronze - 2006 US National Championships
  • Gold - 2007 US National Championships
  • Gold - 2009 US National Championships
  • Bronze - 2010 US National Championships
  • Gold - 2011 US National Championships
Dennis lives in Colorado Springs where he trains at the US Olympic Complex.  His dream has always been to qualify for the Olympics, and this year he did!!

As a soldier, Dennis is part of the Army's World Class Athlete Program - which sent 11 athletes to the 2012 London Olympics!  Dennis first enlisted in the US Army in 2005, and currently serves as a Specialist (SPC).

To support his community in Colorado Springs, Dennis took time last month to join other athletes who were visiting victims of the devastating Colorado Wildfires.

Go Dennis and Go Team USA!!!

Check out this personal video from Dennis about his sport...

Friday, August 3, 2012

Army Sergeant Wrestling for Team USA - Spenser Mango

As you know, from our prior postings, the US Army sent 11 soldiers to the 2012 London Olympics!  We've looked at Dremiel Byers and Keith Sanderson.  This time we'll talk about an Army soldier and Greco-Roman wrestler, Spenser Mango.

Spenser wrestles in the 55 kg category (to save you the calculation, 55 kg = 121 lbs).  Going into these Olympics, Spenser is Team USA's #1 ranked wrestler in his weight class.

After being a two-time All American wrestler for Stanford, he transferred to Northern Michigan University where he enrolled in the US Olympic Education Center.  He graduated from Northern Michigan and has been wrestling for Team USA for 6 years.  He has also served in the US Army for 2 years.

Spenser's wrestling career includes:
  • 2006 World Championship, Bronze
  • 2006 University World Championship, 1st Place
  • 2008 National Championship, 1st Place
  • 2008 Olympics, 8th Place
  • 2009 World Championship, 9th Place
  • 2010, 2011 and 2012 US Open Championship, 1st Place

So given his dominance of the American field, let's cheer Spenser on to dominate the International field at these London Olympics!

Go Spenser and Team USA Wrestling!!

The Olympic Wrestling competition starts Sunday, Aug 5th

Here's a video of Spenser wrestling at the New York Athletic Club...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Army Soldier is Pistol Shooting for Team USA - Keith Sanderson

We have talked before about the US Army's World Class Athlete Program (WCAP).  They sent 11 soldiers to the 2012 London Olympics!  And here's one of them - sharp shooter Keith Sanderson.

Keith joined the Marine Corps just after high school, where he competed for the Marine Shooting Team in rifle matches.  After eight years with the Marines he joined the Army Reserves and started college.  In 2005, after four years in the Reserves, he transferred to Active Duty as an Army soldier.

Along the way Keith has sharpened his shooting skills, primarily in the Rapid Fire Pistol program, and his results prove it.  Keith has medaled in multiple events:

  • Gold - National Championship (2004)
  • Gold - National Championship (2005)
  • Bronze - Championships of the Americas (2005)
  • Silver - Pan American Games (2006)
  • Bronze - World Cup Munich (2007)
  • Gold - World Cup Beijing (2009)
  • Bronze - World Cup Munich (2009)
  • Silver - World Cup Chagnwon (2009)
  • Bronze - World Championship (2010)
  • Bronze - World Cup Final Wroclaw (2011)
  • Silver - World Cup Chagnwon (2011)
This year his sights are set on medaling at the London Olympics!

The Shooting competition started a few days ago, but Keith's portion starts today (Aug 2nd) and continues for the next few days

Check out this video where Keith talks about going to his 2nd Olympics!!