Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hero In Action - Randy Regan

We have featured quite a few American Heroes.  Some who perform on big stages, such as Brad Snyder in the 2012 Paralympics or Vincent Hancock in the 2012 Olympics.  Others who serve in relative anonymity, such as Kevin Killian or the Santa Barbara County Fire Dept.

Here's a story of another gentleman who faithfully goes about his daily work in loyal service to his community.

Randy Regan is a Firefighter and 20-year veteran of the NYFD, Ladder 20.

He says, "I've lived in New York my whole life and you see a lot of strange things."  So when he saw a woman floating on a log in the Hudson River earlier this year (March 2012), he simply knew she needed to be rescued.

He was riding his bike through NYC at 7:30am, headed to work.  He knew the water would be cold if he jumped in to help the woman.  In fact, the water was 48 degrees!

But he took the dive, swam out 40 feet, and brought the woman to shore.  She surely would have been in serious trouble without Randy's rescue effort.  He asked two other women to call 911.  When the Police and EMS arrived he continued on to work.

Remarkably, Randy still arrived for his 9:00am shift a few minutes early!

See Randy's full story on the NYC website.

He's a humble man who plays off the event as just being part of his job.  But this is a great example of how American Heroism preserves and protects our quality of life!

Thanks for your service Randy!!

Check out this video of Randy talking about what happened...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Should EMTs and Firefighters Carry Guns?

We already know Public Safety personnel have the most stressful jobs, including police officers, firefighters and military soldiers.  Here's one reason why... dealing with violent patients.

EMTs and Paramedics are no different.  EMS events happen continually, in fact an EMS event occurs every second of the year!  But we did not find statistical data to define the frequency of violent encounters.  If you know where we can find this data, please contact us.

What we do have, though, is a long list of anecdotal stories which tell of EMTs, Paramedics and Firefighters being assaulted:

Forget about the data, the rise of these stories is shocking.  And then the question comes up... should EMTs, Paramedics and Firefighters carry guns?

Some say yes.  Some say no.  Tell us what you think!

Go to our Facebook Page ... www.facebook.com/PublicSafetyStores

'Like' the page and share your thoughts!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

IACP 2012

The International Association of Chiefs of Police will convene for its 2012 conference in San Diego... on Sep 29 - Oct 3, 2012.  This will be its 119th annual conference and expo!

As a Law Enforcement Officer you've got one of the most stressful jobs available, so you deserve a little down time in San Diego next month!!

This Show has lots of educational and networking opportunities, as well as more than 800 exhibitors in the expo hall!  The expo hall is divided into these areas:

This Show caters exclusively to the Law Enforcement community.  What better place for you to hang out and learn than in San Diego!!

Our world changes so fast, especially in the area of technology.  New developments, specific to Law Enforcement, are constantly being explored, discussed and launched.  This is also a great place to see new technologies and discuss their usefulness with peers.

Hope you will be at the IACP 2012!!

Here's a promo video from last year's conference...

Monday, September 17, 2012

Warrior Games

Once on the battlefield, now on the playing field!

This is the motto of the Warrior Games, and the motto goes on to say...

Celebrate the achievement and abilities of wounded, ill and injured service members through athletic competition.

This event is put on annually by the US Department of Defense and all branches of the US military: US Army, US Marine Corps, US Navy, US Air Force, National Guard and US Coast Guard.  The event includes seven sports and 200+ athletes.

This is another exciting athletic competition where Public Safety personnel exhibit their athletic skills!  In this case the athletes are American Warriors who have been wounded, injured or fallen ill as a result of their public service.

In the past we have also talked about other athletic events where Public Safety personnel excel, such as the 2012 London Olympics, 2012 London Paralympics, Police & Fire Games and Hero Rush!

We tip our hats and thank the competitors at the Warrior Games for their service, perseverance and endurance!!  They deserve our respect and their status as American Warriors!!

Check out this video of US Air Force Warriors training for the Games...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

American Heroes - London Paralympians

Henry Miller (1891-1980) was an American author who said:
"The ordinary man is involved in action, the hero acts.  An immense difference."

These are American Military Heroes who did not just witness action, they acted!  And their choice to act brought life-changing results.  We owe them a deep sense of gratitude and honor.  They have served the USA and our US Military well!

These people also competed in the 2012 London Paralympics!!  Take a look at their stories...

Dugie Denton - Army - Archery
Dugie was shot in the course of military service, which led to a plate being put in his ankle.  He also suffers from a traumatic brain injury.  He took 9th place in the Open Individual Compound Archery event.

Rob Jones - Marines - Rowing
Rob lost both legs above-the-knee after an IED blast in Afghanistan in 2010.  He and his rowing partner, Oksana Masters, took home a Bronze Medal in the Mixed Double Sculls event!!

Josh Olson - Army - Shooting
Josh lost his right leg from the hip down during a rocket-propelled grenade attack in Iraq in 2004.  He took 28th place in the 50m Prone Rifle event.

Jennifer Schuble - West Point Cadet - Cycling
Jennifer suffered a traumatic brain injury during hand-to-hand combat training at the Academy.  Then a car accident crushed her right arm.  And then in 2004 she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.  She took home a Silver Medal and a Bronze Medal in the 500m Cycling and Mixed Team Sprint Cycling events, respectively!!

Gavin Sibayan - Army - Soccer
Gavin survived many roadside bombs, then suffered a stroke.  Team USA took 8th place in the Soccer event.

Brad Snyder - Navy - Swimming
Brad lost his sight following a bomb blast in Afghanistan in 2011.  He took home the following:

  • Silver Medal - 50m Freestyle!!
  • Gold Medal - 100m Freestyle!!
  • Gold Medal - 400m Freestyle!!
  • 4th Place - 100m Butterfly
  • 6th Place - 100m Breaststroke
  • 5th Place - 100m Backstroke
  • 6th Place - 200m Ind. Medley

Scott Winkler - Army - Shot Put
Scott was paralyzed from the chest down after falling from an ammo truck in Iraq in 2003.  He took 13th place in the Shot Put event.

Finally, have a look at this 2012 London Paralympics Slide Show...

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hero Rush!

We have talked a lot about the sports and competitions that PoliceFireEMS and Military members engage in!  They include the OlympicsParalympics and Police & Fire Games.  Here's another competition you'll love... Hero Rush!

Hero Rush is for Firefighters and anyone else (young or old) who wants to test their mettle as a Firefighter Hero for the day!

The competition can barely be called a 5K obstacle course.  The presenters cleverly call it "The Infernotastic 5K+ Obstacle Experience"!!

Check out this video and you'll see why...

The race includes...
  • Sliding down poles
  • Climbing ladders
  • Getting wet
  • Making saves
  • Crawling through windows
  • Breaking down doors
  • Scrambling through HazMat zones
  • Locating trapped victims
  • And much much much much more!!

These are upcoming event dates...
  • 2012
    • Oct 6  --  Illinois / MidWest
    • Oct 20  --  Carolinas
    • Nov 3  --  Central Florida
  • 2013
    • Mar 2  --  Central Texas
    • May 4  --  Maryland / DC

Check out the Hero Rush website for more info!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

2010 & 2011 Para-Triathlete of the Year - Melissa Stockwell

Melissa Stockwell is one of the (many) people who have served our country bravely and courageously!

As a Freshman at the University of Colorado, Boulder Melissa joined the US Army ROTC and committed to 4 years of active duty with the US Army.  She started as a US Army officer in 2002, and was deployed to Iraq.

In 2004 Melissa was leading a convoy through Baghdad when a roadside bomb exploded and blew her unarmored Humvee into a guardrail and then a house.  The result was that she lost her left leg.

Melissa is now an above-the-knee amputee on her left side.  In fact, Melissa is the first woman soldier to lose a limb in the Iraq War.  And for her honorable service, Melissa received a Bronze Star plus a Purple Heart.

But that's not the end of the story!  Melissa is now a world class Para-Triathlete!!

After spending a year of recovery at the Walter Reed Medical Center, Melissa took up swimming (for the first time in her life!).  She even became a member of Team USA Swimming at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.

Following this event, she chose to pursue Para-Triathlons.  This is what she has to show for it:

  • 2011 USA Female Para-Triathlete of the Year
  • 1st Place -- 2011 ITU Para-Triathlon World Championship Beijing (TRI-2)
  • 1st Place -- 2011 ITU Para-Triathlon National Championship NYC (TRI-2)
  • 2010 USA Female Para-Triathlete of the Year
  • 1st Place -- 2010 ITU Para-Triathlon World Championship Budapest (TRI-2)
  • 2nd Place -- 2010 ITU Para-Triathlon National Championship (TRI-1)
  • 1st Place -- 2009 Olympic Distance Triathlon Chicago (her division)

Melissa is not participating in the 2012 London Paralympics, only because her sport is not an event.  But that will change soon!  Para-Triathlon will make its debut at the 2016 Rio Paralympics!!!

This is another story of an American Hero!  We owe our deepest gratitude to Melissa Stockwell, Rob Jones, Brad Snyder, Ryan McIntosh and many others!!

Melissa is one of 4 veterans featured in a documentary called Warrior Champions.  Check out this movie trailer...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Marine Vet and 2012 Paralympian - Rob Jones

We have thoroughly enjoyed this summer of featuring Police, Fire, EMS and Military soldiers who have competed in the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics!

Here's another story from the current 2012 Paralympics.

Rob Jones is a retired US Marine.  He's now a double above-the-knee amputee.  And a 2012 London Paralympian for Team USA!!

Rob's event is the Mixed Doubles Rowing, with teammate Oksana Masters.  Together they won Bronze!!

Oksana was born with deformed legs, which led to her own double amputation.

Rob lost both legs in 2010 while serving with the US Marines in Afghanistan.  His injury was due to the blast of an IED (improvised explosive device).

For many injured veterans and military service members, sports is a terrific means of therapy.  We saw this earlier with Brad Snyder (blind Paralympian) and his swimming!  Now we're seeing the inspiration of sports with Rob, and his teammate Oksana.

You can follow Rob and Oksana's journey through their BadCompany website

And be sure to watch this inspiring video from Rob and Oksana with the VOLUME UP!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Paralympic Hero for Team USA - Brad Snyder

Do know much about the Paralympics?  If not, you should.  This quadrennial event is getting bigger.  This year is the biggest ever: 4,280 athletes from 165 countries competing.

During the 2012 London Olympics, we featured Police, Fire, EMS and Military soldiers who competed for Team USA.

Now, in these 2012 London Paralympics, Team USA has 227 members - 20 are US Military veterans and 6 of them were hurt while serving our country.

The Paralympic stories are amazing!  Here's one of them.

Brad Snyder started swimming in St Petersburg, Florida when he was 11 years old.  He continued as a club and high school swimmer.  He eventually joined the Navy and was captain of the 2005-2006 Naval Academy swim team.

After graduating from the Naval Academy he became a bomb defusing specialist with the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Mobile Unit 12.

Brad was deployed to Afghanistan.  In September 2011 he was working with another bomb defusing specialist and a group of Afghan soldiers.  They were sweeping a section of land in a "particularly bad neighborhood" to look for suspicious signs of booby-trap bombs.  One of the Afghan soldiers stepped on a homemade bomb, which immediately and traumatically amputated the legs of he and another Afghan soldier.

Brad responded to help them, and in doing so he stepped on a second bomb.  He thought he had died, but he briefly looked down to see his whole body intact.  This was his last sight.  The next event he remembers is waking up at the Naval Hospital in Bethesda.  Several days after his injury he was advised that he would not see again.  He now has two glass eyes.

Part of how Brad has recovered is by jumping back in the swimming pool.  It turns out his swim times qualified him for some financial support and travel expenses.  Of course his training has not been without its challenges.  He practices with sleeves on his arms due to his arms repeatedly hitting the swim lane barriers.  And he's had a few painful crashes into the cement lane ending due to not flipping over soon enough.

Brad is now 28 years old, and competing in the 2012 London Paralympics for Team USA Swimming.  In fact, he will compete in his best race - the 400-meter freestyle - on the one year anniversary of his accident (Sep 7th).

Brad said, "Its going to be a pretty amazing experience to compete on that day.  To me, it means I conquered blindness.  I won!"

Follow Brad's schedule at the 2012 London Paralympics here

And check out this amazing video of Brad winning a Gold Medal in the 100m Freestyle!!!