The Sheepdog Survival Fund, a new 501(c)(3) charitable organization, has made its official debut. Founded to address a serious unmet need within the law enforcement, first responder, and military communities, The Sheepdog Survival Fund helps these professionals accomplish their missions in the safest and most effective manner possible by providing access to advanced training and mission-critical equipment, all at zero cost to the applicants.
“When you put on a uniform to serve and protect, there’s a level of responsibility and risk you willingly accept,” said Blake Hayes, co-founder of The Sheepdog Survival Fund. “Our law enforcement and first responders must always be at the ready and continuously refining their skillsets in order to protect others, themselves and most importantly, save lives. Refining those skillsets, however, comes at a cost, and in the face of shrinking budgets, the reality is that not all departments can afford to invest in providing such training or even upgrading critical equipment. Filling that gap is our mission and what drives our organization.”
Fundraising for The Sheepdog Survival Fund is supported by strategic partnerships with leading brands, such as 5.11 Tactical, Leupold, Gerber, Full Throttle Energy, Crate Club, as well as through tax-free donations from individuals from all walks of life. One of the primary applications of the funds is to provide scholarships for a wide range of training courses, such as basic defensive tactics, instinctive hand-to-hand combat, tactical entry, active shooter response and survival ground combatives. Moreover, The Sheepdog Survival Fund will also help law enforcement further develop mindsets in regards to use of force as well as officer survival, both from a hands-on as well as legal perspective.
To provide training, The Sheepdog Survival Fund has aligned itself with the industry’s most respected organizations, such as Sheepdog Response, which boasts some of the most experienced, expert instructors in the world. Renowned for their skills, Sheepdog Response is led by legendary U.S. Army Green Beret and Special Forces Sniper, Tim Kennedy, and retired Special Forces operator and one of the foremost experts in both tactical trauma medicine and combat sports medicine, Dr. Mike Simpson.
“It comes down to experience, training and self-awareness, and to achieve that, our first responders need to be on the range, in the gym, and given the opportunity to train,” said Kennedy. “Unfortunately, those opportunities are not presenting themselves and law enforcement is forced to do the best they can with the resources they have. When your life and the lives of others are on the line, that’s simply not enough. They need help and we, as a nation, need to step up and answer that call.”
2017 marked the second lowest death toll among law enforcement in 50 years, and a drop of 10% from 2016. While those are promising numbers, the stark truth is that nearly 130 police officers did not make it home to their families. Through proper training and outfitting of our first responders with the proper equipment, The Sheepdog Survival Fund and its partners are confident that this trend can and will continue.
For additional information regarding The Sheepdog Survival fund visit www.sheepdogfund.org.