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Elk River PD's Experience Wearing BlueStone LBVs

Elk River PD's Experience Wearing BlueStone LBVs

 

The health and wellness of officers has become a more pressing matter than ever, as officers find themselves with hip, lower back, or sciatic nerve pain after beginning their career in law enforcement. While they want to lessen the load on their bodies, they are required to carry 20-25 pounds worth of equipment at all times. On top of that, officers also need to maintain a clean, uniform look while carrying the department’s required items. While this can be a difficult task, load bearing vest carriers have been shown as one of the best options to alleviate hip and back pain, while still keeping a professional appearance.

Sergeant Zabee of the Elk River PD met with representatives from a variety of load bearing vest companies, and after careful consideration, he decided to present Bluestone Safety Products’ LBV to his police administration. “The overall appearance of their LBV product, fit, form and function were superior to other products. This, in addition to their ability to customize features of the LBV and their customer service, made the selection easy,” Sgt. Zabee said.

The administration decided to move forward with a custom designed LBV by BlueStone Safety that met all of their specifications, including front and rear rifle plate pockets, additional MOLLE webbing on the lower half with traditional uniform chest pockets, lower hidden accessory pockets behind the MOLLE, custom Axon BWC mount tabs and a custom American flag sewn on the chest pocket. “At our request, Bluestone Safety custom ordered the exact thread color match of our existing uniform embroidery and was able to implement it in our department approved LBV,” Sgt. Zabee said.

Several patrol sergeants were the first to be custom fitted for BlueStone LBVs, and after their successful trial, the department worked with their admin to create a LBV program. This program went live in January of 2021, and provided participating officers with a tailor-made load bearing vest from BlueStone.

After the successful implementation of load bearing vests at his department, Sgt. Zabee provided some additional thoughts on the LBVs. “I have received terrific feedback from patrol officers. Several veteran officers with more than 20 years of law enforcement experience have told me they noticed the positive impact the LBV had on their body within the first few weeks of use. Many of these veteran officers firmly believe that they would have experienced less injuries and less discomfort during their career if this piece of equipment would have been readily available when they started their careers.”

“Newer officers on the department, some of whom have transferred from departments where they were allowed to wear an LBV have expressed how impressed they are with the quality of the LBV product from Bluestone, compared to the previous LBV manufacturer they were allowed to wear,” Sgt. Zabee said.

“I believe I speak for not only myself, but on behalf of the police department administration that we have been very satisfied with the overall response from our officers of the LBV product and greatly appreciate the customer service afforded to us by Bluestone Safety Products. To be able to rely on a company like Bluestone Safety, to manufacture such a quality piece of equipment and provide the customer care that they do, allows officers to focus on their job, knowing they are well equipped and most likely feel physically better than if they were still wearing a traditional duty belt,” Sgt. Zabee said.

For more information on BlueStone Safety Load Bearing Vests, please visit: https://www.bluestonesafety.com/

Avoid Heat Exhaustion with BlueStone Safety Load Bearing Vest Carriers

Avoid Heat Exhaustion with BlueStone Safety Load Bearing Vest Carriers

The industry of law enforcement has been changing rapidly over the last few years, and we understand that officers have more on their plates now than ever. This added pressure of being an officer can turn into more stress and anxiety, leading officers to sweat more and overheat while on the job. Being hot and sweaty can make officers uncomfortable, which leads to a cycle of being overwhelmed and overheated.To help lighten the load of officers and cool them down while on the job, we recommend our custom-tailored load bearing vest carriers. 

Over the last few years, the health benefits of wearing BlueStone Safety load bearing vest carriers have been explored in great detail. After completing a research study, the Mayo Health Clinic and University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire found that BlueStone Safety custom load bearing vests help improve officer's posture by reducing slouching/ rounded shoulders, and they help alleviate hip, lower back, and sciatic pain. While this is all true, our LBVs also do something else extremely important: they help reduce heat rash and heat exhaustion.

Police officers work 8 hour, 10 hour, and even 12 hour shifts each week to protect and serve their communities. When heat exhaustion and heat rash are added to the equation during the warm months, this makes their job even more stressful. Without a load bearing vest, officers wear their body armor underneath their uniform shirt, and they usually have an extra shirt beneath the body armor as well. Adding the weight and extra layers on an already hot day makes officers experience sweat, heat exhaustion, and potentially heat rash from the friction.

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Spruce Green Custom LBVs Now Available!!

Spruce Green Custom LBVs Now Available!!

Along with our many popular colors such as LAPD Blue, Black, and Tan, BlueStone Safety now offers Spruce Green as an option for our custom-tailored load bearing vest carriers! If your department is interested in our Spruce Green Color, please let us know and we'll gladly assist you. Our custom-tailored load bearing vests in spruce green will look great when worn with your department's spruce green uniform shirts. 

 

 

Run Your Radio Cording Inside Your LBV for a Clean, Uniform Look  

 

While the radio is necessary for officers to have on them at all times, the radio cording can get in the way or cause the officer’s uniform to look unprofessional with bunched up cords hanging off of them.  With the increased demand for officer’s to have a clean, uniform appearance, BlueStone created a solution: openings on their custom LBVs that allow you to run your radio cording inside of the vest. 

With most standard setups, officers either run their radio cording behind their back and up their shoulder, or they run it straight to the mic tab in the middle of their vest, doing their best to tuck in or keep the excess radio cording out of their way.  While this might be functional, it causes two issues: it takes away from their clean, uniform look, and it gives people something to grab onto if they are engaging with the officer. 

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4 Steps to Help Get Tailor-Made Load Bearing Vests Approved at Your Department

4 Steps to Help Get Tailor-Made Load Bearing Vests Approved at Your Department

Over the last few years, more and more officers have been requesting that their departments approve load bearing vests for their uniforms. While many departments have already made this transition, there are others that have been a bit more hesitant to change from their traditional uniform. With this in mind, we’ve put together 4 steps to help get load bearing vests approved at your department. 

Step 1: Show the Health Benefits LBVs Provide For Officers

One of the main reasons load bearing vest carriers have been so high in demand is because of the long-term health benefits they have for officers that wear them instead of a typical duty belt. To help the decision-makers at your department truly see the benefits, we recommend showing them the results from a research study conducted by the Mayo Health Clinic and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

In this study, the Eau Claire police department separated officers into 2 groups: those who were wearing a BlueStone Safety load bearing vest carrier, and those that kept all of their equipment on their duty belt. After 3 months, the officers who were wearing duty belts transitioned to BlueStone LBVs, and vice versa. After the 6 month study concluded, they found that officers wearing BlueStone LBVs had far less hip, lower back, and sciatic nerve pain. The full results of the study can be found here

A video detailing the research study can also be found here. Departments that provide their officers with custom load bearing vest carriers are being proactive to help reduce the injury and pain that officers may face while on duty. When an officer does have sciatic nerve pain from wearing a duty belt, the doctor will typically prescribe a load bearing vest carrier to relieve them of the pain. Supplying officers with BlueStone LBVs helps prevent the injury before it happens.

Step 2: Explain How the Department Benefits

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