As part of S-5!’s ongoing pledge to support first responders at Black Forest Fire Rescue, Rob Haddock, S-5! CEO and founder presented a $5,000 check to Jake Skifstad, founder and president of SHIELD616, headquartered in Black Forest near Colorado Springs, Colo.
SHIELD616 outfits first responders with protective gear – police, firefighters and EMS – and to date has outfitted more than 5,000 first responders in 32 states due to generous community members and businesses.
Skifstad is a retired police officer and served on the force for 14 years before establishing his non-profit organization. He witnessed firsthand the impact of not having appropriate gear when he lost his comrade during an active shooting involving a rifle in Colorado. Typical body armor worn by first responders is not designed to protect against rifles. Skifstad saw a need and subsequently founded SHIELD616 to provide nationwide protection for first responders.
“Being in situations like that, which are happening more and more these days, and having to go in knowing you are not protected is extremely difficult,” said Skifstad. “At the end of the day, our goal is to go home from work and be with our families. Having these vests provides a much greater chance of survival.”
“The need is incalculable, and we move with a sense of urgency,” he continued. “It takes a community-wide effort to get this done, and S-5! stepped up to help in a big way. Just two years ago, S-5! donated as a corporate sponsor for our state-wide, 372-mile, 4-day, SHIELD616 Border-to-Border Ride beginning at the Wyoming/Colorado border and ending at the New Mexico/Colorado border. We are incredibly grateful for their support.”
Haddock first established his charitable foundation in 2014 and contributes approximately $100,000 annually to a variety of non-profit, charitable organizations both locally and globally.
“Whether it is our corporate staff in Colorado or the folks in Texas at our manufacturing facility, giving back is important to all of us,” said Haddock. “It is our duty; it’s who we are; it is what we stand for. We are grateful for all that our first responders do and are more than happy to support SHIELD616.”