Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: An Open Letter from PSS

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

If you or someone you know has been affected by Hurricane Sandy, we want you to know is here to help, and we pledge to keep our prices the same as before Hurricane Sandy.

Please keep in mind that Fedex and UPS are working overtime to get product to you, but may be delayed due to unsafe conditions.  We know that you all understand, and would not wish your delivery driver to risk their safety.

Furthermore, if you are affected by Hurricane Sandy, please tell us so that we can offer you the best delivery and pricing available to help you in these challenging times.

Our staff is here to help you!

  • Call us at (888) 707-3195

And Be Safe,

p.s. Don't want to call?  Take 10% off your order by entering SANDY for a coupon code.

Hurricane Sandy: Rescues

Hurricane Sandy has wreaked tremendous havoc.

Here are a few images to show how thousands of Public Safety personnel - Police, Fire, EMS, Military and more - are working tirelessly to rescue people and help them be safe.

CNS/Reuters/Adam Hunger

AP Photo

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images / Bryant Jordan

REUTERS/Adam Hunger


Adam Hunger/Courtesy Reuters

REUTERS/Adam Hunger


REUTERS/Adam Hunger

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: Power Outages

As of mid-day Tuesday 10/30/12 (right now), how many people are without power due to Hurricane Sandy?

TOTAL  :  8,428,000

New Jersey : 2,500,000

New York : 2,300,000

Pennsylvania : 1,200,000

Connecticut : 615,000

Maryland : 290,000

Massachusetts : 290,000

West Virginia : 271,000

Ohio : 250,000

Virginia : 180,000

New Hampshire : 165,000

Rhode Island : 116,000

Maine : 86,000

Michigan : 79,000

Delaware : 45,000

Washington DC : 25,000

Vermont : 10,000

North Carolina : 6,000

We owe great gratitude to the Public Safety personnel working tirelessly to keep us safe.  That includes Police, Fire, EMS, Dispatchers, Off-duty Officers, On-call Firefighters, Active Military and many more.


Hurricane Sandy: Historic

What if I told you a story, and this were the context:

Post-tropical cyclone targets the Northeast USA

Hurricane force winds extend 175 miles from the center of the storm

Tropical storm force winds are felt 485 miles from the center

Its a convergence of multiple storms:

  • a hurricane swirling up from the south
  • a winter storm coming over from the east
  • cold air blowing down from the north

20% of the US population is impacted - that's 60 million people

6 million people are without power, including a large part of NYC

Bridges, tunnels and mass transit are closed in NYC

The financial markets are closed in NYC, for two straight days

Cars are floating down flooded streets in Lower Manhattan

Dozens of people are dead (already)

Across the Northeast USA...

Private businesses are closed

Government agencies are closed

Schools are closed

Roads, rails and subways are closed

13,000 flights have been cancelled

The Erie Canal is closed

Water is surging

Fires are starting

Trees are falling, and killing people

Primary power is failing

Backup power is failing

Generators are flooding

People are evacuating

But this story is real.  And its historic.  Its Hurricane Sandy.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the 60 million people impacted, as well as the hundreds of thousands of Police, Fire, EMS and other Public Safety personnel working tirelessly - to serve the public.

Please be safe

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: State of Emergency

Hurricane Sandy could turn out to be as historic as they claim.  Here's a few stats...

Hurricane Sandy is about 1,000 miles wide!

About 60 million will be affected... that's almost 20% of the US population.

Transportation in the Northeast is deeply impacted.  NYC public transportation ended at 7pm on Sunday.  Amtrak is shutting down service.  3,000 flights have already been cancelled from Washington DC to NYC.

The largest storm surge to hit New York in modern history was 10.5 feet in 1960.  Hurricane Sandy is expected to bring storm surges of 6-12 feet.

Sustained winds through NYC are projected to be 50 mph.  And wind gusts will likely reach hurricane force at 80 mph.

Hurricane Sandy is expected to continue through Wednesday (36 hours after it hits land), which is unusually long for a tropical storm.

The stock & bond markets are closed for 2 straight days.  This is the first time that's happened (due to bad weather) since 1888.

Its a state of emergency that will test all Public Safety personnel - Police, Fire, EMS, Dispatchers and others.

Please be careful.  And please be safe!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Off-duty EMT Hero - Paul Frontiero III

Last month we brought up the question of whether EMTs and Firefighters should carry guns.  Our blog post was highly visited, and our Facebook post generated broad engagement.

Its a widely debated question.  And situations like this add to the body of data.

In October 2011 an Off-duty EMT allegedly witnessed two women being threatened by a young man.

The Off-duty EMT was 27 year old Paul Frontiero III.  Both women were 29 years old.  And the man allegedly threatening these women was 19 years old.

Paul Frontiero III reportedly stepped in to rescue the women.  But according to a local detective Paul died of 16 stab wounds, apparently inflicted by the young man, with a six-inch pocket knife.

The young man has been charged with second degree murder and is currently being held without bail.  He has stated that his actions were taken out of self-defense.

In the past we have mentioned Off-duty Police Officers who took heroic actions.  And in each case they used their firearm.

What do you think?  Is this different because it involves an Off-duty EMT?  Or does it still point to the notion that EMTs and Firefighters should carry guns?

Let us know on our Facebook page -

Monday, October 22, 2012

American History - Tom Clark

We have mentioned many American Heroes:  Active US Military ... Veterans ... Injured Veterans ... Police ... Fire ... EMS ... Dispatchers ... Off-Duty Officers ... and On-Call Firefighters.

This bit of American History is a first-class reminder of US soldiers who have paid the ultimate price.

It was 1985.  Tom Clark was a 31-year old history teacher at Lake Central High School in St John, Indiana.

Lake Central High School had five graduates who were killed in Vietnam.  One of Tom's students wanted to put up a memorial to remember the dead soldiers.

Tom agreed to support the idea, but he wanted it done right.  He asked his students to interview the families of the dead soldiers and get details on their lives.  That way the memorial could include the full stories of who they were.

Since then, for the past 27 years, Tom Clark has put this same project before his students.  At the beginning of the semester he gives his students many files containing information about dead soldiers from Indiana.  The students then piece together the stories of these casualties.

They uncover photos, letters, records, articles, artifacts and telegrams.  They visit and interview the remaining friends and family of the dead servicemen.  And finally they tell the story of each soldier.

These high school students have worked on stories about deceased soldiers from World War II, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • They have spoken with former fiancees who did not see their loved one come home
  • They have found evidence of great athletes whose potentially stunning careers did not materialize due to the war
  • They have turned up medals of war that were never issued, but have fixed that by getting them issued and personally delivering them to the family
  • And they have recently faced a family that is still reeling from the April 15th passing of a young serviceman - who was a 32-year old son, dedicated husband and father of a two-year old

Thanks to Tom Clark, these soldiers and their stories are being properly preserved.  And many students are realizing freedom isn't free.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Hometown Heroes - On-Call Firefighters

We have mentioned many American Heroes, including:  Active US Military ... Veterans ... Injured Veterans ... Police ... Fire ... EMS ... Dispatchers ... and Off-Duty Officers.

Today we feature On-call Firefighters.

These folks are not "Career" firefighters.  They typically have regular jobs, albeit with flexible schedules.  They respond to emergency calls as-needed and as-available.  They are often paid a daily rate to be On-call plus an additional rate for responding to calls.

So they have a lot to juggle when you think about their family events, birthday parties, holidays, social events, church activities, etc, etc!

Many times these On-call Firefighters are drawn to the department because previous generations have served the department.  So its sort of in their blood!  Jimmy Wagoner is a good example.  His father has been with the local department for 26 years.

Some times these On-call Firefighters had friends in the department.  Dustin Lucius is a good example.  He's a 30-year old pilot who is married with a newborn child.  He followed his friend, Bobby Maksymowski, into the department.

Other times these On-call Firefighters pursue the department because of the camaraderie it builds.  Chris Cates is a good example.  He joined his local Fire Department as an On-Call Firefighter to "be a part of something."

But none of them would be On-call Firefighters if they didn't love firefighting!

These folks fill an important role in the Public Safety our country enjoys!  A small to mid-size city does not usually have the budget for a fully staffed "Career" department, especially these days :-(

We want to say "THANKS" to all the men and women who fill this tremendous void and serve the public unselfishly.  We know that you love fighting fires and responding to emergencies, but we also know you make many sacrifices to be available as First Responders!


Friday, October 12, 2012

A Team of Heroes - Dispatch, Police, Fire, Paramedic, ER

Raoul Meekcom lives in Tualatin, Oregon with his wife Sandra.  But last month Raoul had a heart attack which should have taken his life.

However, thanks to 45 minutes of excellent work from the 911 dispatcher, a police officer, a firefighter, a paramedic and an ER doctor... Raoul is alive today!

Sandra called 911 as soon as she found her husband lying lifelessly on the bathroom floor.  The response started with 30-year dispatcher Rita McQuiston coaching Sandra through CPR techniques and chest compressions.

Then Tualatin police officer, Chet Lemon, arrived to take over the CPR.

Then Tualatin Valley fire chief, Mark Cross, came and contributed to the effort.

Then Tualatin paramedic, Jeff Hunter, showed up to help revive Raoul.

Then an ambulance took Raoul to the Emergency Room.

And finally ER doctor, Jerry Tran, brought the effort to a positive conclusion... after 45 minutes, Raoul's body responded!

Raoul does not remember anything from that day.  But he knows who does remember that day... his wife, 911 dispatcher (Rita McQuiston) and the multiple first responders who saved his life!

Check out this video of Raoul and Sandra meeting their heroes!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hero In Action - Rob Verhelst

We have brought you many American Heroes... Injured military vets, Ative military personnel, Police officers, Firefighters, EMTs, Off-duty officers, and more.

This time its Rob Verhelst - a US Air Force veteran and current Madison, WI firefighter.

But Rob has big ambitions beyond fighting fires and responding to medical emergencies.  Rob is a husband, father, motivational speaker, fitness trainer, life coach... and now he's an ambassador for the non-profit organization Code 3 For A Cure.

Code 3 For A Cure helps firefighters diagnosed with cancer, especially those facing financial hardship.  Code 3 For A Cure does this by "providing support, giving encouragement, and sharing experiences."  They also provide financial assistance to firefighters and select non-profit cancer organizations.

So what is Rob doing as an ambassador?  He's raising awareness and money!  Pretty effectively!!

Rob is competing in multiple Ironman Triathlon's.  Don't forget, the Ironman is:

  • 2.4 mile swim
  • 112 mile bike
  • 26.2 mile marathon

But after his 2.4 mile swims and 112 mile bikes, Rob runs the 26.2 mile marathons in full firefighter gear!!  Complete with turnout gear, air tank and fire helmet!!


On his website - - he says, "Your strength is your passion."

His next event is in a few days... the Ironman World Championship in Kona, HI on October 13, 2012.

Go Rob... for the benefit of Code 3 For A Cure!!

And check out this video of Rob finishing the Ironman Wisconsin on 9/11/11 ... exactly 10 years after Rob went to NYC to personally work at Ground Zero for 8 straight days!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Off-Duty Heroes

You know we love American Heroes!!

Some serve in the US Military.  Some are Veterans.  Others are Police, Fire and EMS personnel.  Still others are Off-duty.  Like Michael Wolff, a police officer in Henderson, NV.

Officer Wolff was simply getting a Starbucks coffee when he walked into an active robbery.  A man behind the counter was emptying out the cash register with a gun in hand.

Wolff was Off-duty, but he showed his badge and his own firearm, and he ordered the robber to stop.  The robber dropped his gun and ran out the front door... err, literally through the door!

The glass broke and lacerated the robber.  But Officer Wolff arrested him and no one was injured.

These American Heroes are amazing!  They accept the risks inherent to showing up for work.  And then they keep serving the public in their own spare time!!

Reminds me of a similar story from last year.  Off-duty LAPD Officer Joe Jarrett took his wife to a restaurant in Hollywood.  He quickly realized a dangerous situation was unfolding in the kitchen - a man with a 10-inch knife was threatening a worker and had her cornered.  Officer Jarrett pulled his firearm and identified himself.  He deescalated the situation and took the man into custody.

Officer Jarrett said, "I honestly think I just did what any LAPD officer, or any law enforcement officer from anywhere would do.  I just did my job."

Another American Hero!!

Habitat For Heroes

If you've been following us for awhile, you know how much we appreciate American Heroes... people like Brad Snyder (US Navy), Randy Regan (NYFD), Kevin Killian (SoCal Police), Melissa Stockwell (US Army), Rob Jones (US Marines) and many more!!

US Military Veterans are American Heroes who make tremendous sacrifices and take on extraordinary risks for the benefit of the American public.  It only makes sense that when their service is complete, these Military Veterans should have a place to call home.

And apparently, the SCV Habitat For Heroes agrees!

Habitat For Heroes is a non-profit organization in the city of Santa Clarita (in north Los Angeles County).  Their goal is to "address the needs of those heroes who have served our nation, and all of us, with courage and honor."  The Habitat For Heroes does this specifically in the area of housing.

According to the Habitat For Heroes, roughly 80,000 US Military Veterans who served after 9/11 are spending more than 50% of their income on housing.  This situation, along with a challenging economy, has created financial hardship for many veterans, especially in the city of Santa Clarita.  Per capita, Santa Clarita has one of highest concentrations of Military Veterans.  Of the city's 250,000 residents, over 10,000 are war veterans.

So Habitat For Heroes recently announced an exciting project, in coordination with the California Department of Veteran Affairs (CalVet).

CalVet will provide $21 million for Habitat For Heroes to develop and build 87 new homes in a village dedicated to veterans.  Local veterans will then be able to apply to purchase one of these affordable homes!

This is a terrific program.  And ought to be a model for other communities to follow!

Veterans Day is coming up... on Nov 11th.  For the independence and freedom we all enjoy, our US Military Veterans deserve to be remembered and honored!!

Check out this AWESOME video about the program...