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Francine Janik First TruckVault "Hero Hunt" Recipient

October 26, 2007  | 

Francine Janik First TruckVault "Hero Hunt" Recipient

Former police officer Francine Giono Janik of Whitehall, Mont., was recently selected as the first recipient of an all-expenses-paid "Hero Hunt" for part of TruckVault's upcoming television series, "TruckVault's Xtreme Hunts," scheduled to begin airing in August of 2008 on the cable network Versus. The Hero Hunt segments are part of an ongoing series that honors and recognizes heroes in the public safety arena for their deeds.

Janik is a graduate of Montana State University with a degree in Vocational Agriculture. She became an NREMT in 1991 and worked for the Town of Whitehall. She began her career in law enforcement with the Montana Highway Patrol in 1991. In 1992, during a routine traffic stop, Janik was shot in the line of duty. She managed to regain her composure and returned fire, killing her assailant. Later, it was determined that the deceased had murdered two people in Douglas County, Nev.

As a recipient of the honor, Janik received a hunting trip at the renowned Tumbleweed Lodge in Pierre, S.D., with famed outdoorsman Mark Kayser, host of "TruckVault's XTreme Hunts." As part of her award, Janik was able to take along her father, Francis "Topper" Giono—a career law enforcement officer and one of the first EMTs in Montana—as her hunting partner.

Both Janik and Giono are avid bird hunters, so the trip suited them well. "Hunting with Francine and Topper was as much fun as it was rewarding to treat great law enforcement officers to some of the best upland bird hunting in North America," said Kayser. "Breaking away from the non-stop world of law enforcement is not only difficult, but oftentimes downright impossible. Our TruckVault 'Hero Hunts' are just a small way to repay a couple of our many heroes for their great service to Montana and our country."

"It is also interesting to hear," continued Kayser, "that after three decades of law enforcement, this was Topper's first opportunity to take some real time off for hunting rather than grabbing a day or two to hunt around home. This sheds light on just how dedicated the men and women that serve in this line of public service really are. It meant a lot to me that I could be the host on such a special hunt for Topper and his daughter, Francine, both great law enforcement officers."

"We are extremely excited," said Don Fenton, Sales and Marketing Director for TruckVault, "to be able to offer this opportunity to some very deserving folks in the law enforcement industry. We wanted to do something for law enforcement officers on our outdoor show since it is such a large and important portion of our business. We can never do enough for the men and women who lay it on the line day in and day out serving the public."

"We viewed this as a no-brainer and as a great opportunity to give back and say thanks to a small few," Fenton concluded.

Subsequent "Hero Hunts" will be filmed in December 2007 from Tumbleweed Lodge, S.D., featuring Greg Hall from Pennsylvania; and from Malta, Mont., featuring Brian Steinwand from California. The "Hero Hunts" will continue into the 2008 filming season for air dates in 2009.

Janik retired from the patrol in 1995 but continues to serve as the Service Director and Training Coordinator for the Whitehall Ambulance and is a Reserve Deputy for Jefferson County. Giono was recently granted the Southwest Montana Hero of the Year Award by the American Red Cross, as well as Montana EMT of the Year by the Montana Emergency Medical Services Association.

For more information about TruckVault's secure in-vehicle firearms storage systems visit To submit your own "Hero Hunt" nomination for the 2009 airing season of TruckVault's "Extreme Hunts," contact Don Fenton at [email protected].

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