Volume No. 18 Issue No. 6 June 2021  

  Shield 616 donates protective gear to FFPD

     In this day of snipers and mass shootings, Falcon Fire Protection District firefighters are now better prepared to face such situations, thanks to a recent donation of equipment.
   On May 6, the FFPD received a donation of 24 sets of body armor, valued at $52,800, from the nonprofit organization, Shield 616. Ashley Felice, project manager for Shield 616, said the donation was possible because of the generosity of local donors and the Katalytic Foundation. The local donors were Amplify Events Inc.; Chris Lujan; Dale McGehee; National Christian Foundation-GA; Luis Perez; Wells Family Dog Boarding and Training; and Falcon Peyton Homes.
   Most of the body armor went to Station 1 because of their high call volume, said Jeff Petersma, FFPD deputy chief. He said the body armor would be used whenever firefighters thought it was necessary. In addition to shooting situations, Petersma said the body armor could be used in cases of domestic violence, assault, drug overdose and suicide attempts.
   Jake Shifstad, retired Colorado Springs police officer, founded Shield 616, Felice said. As a police officer, he was involved in two active shooter incidents. After the second incident, Felice said Shifstad realized that the shooter was using a rifle — and he had no protection against rifle fire. So, he started a nonprofit organization to provide protective equipment for first responders. Shield 616 is based in Colorado Springs but is active in 27 different states.
   Felice said in addition to providing protective gear for first responders, Shield 616 tries to bridge the gap between the community and first responders by soliciting donations from local communities and then bringing the donors to the presentation of the equipment. The organization takes its name from Ephesians 6:16: King James Version: “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench the fiery darts of the wicked.”
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