Shield 4 Kids: Keep Our Children Safe At Bus Stops

By James Branham

In 2016 a Special Highway Immediate Emergency Location Defense, nonprofit 501c3 organization known as S.H.I.E.L.D. was created. This organization is dedicated in protecting all First Responders and tow truck operators by what is known as Blocking or Advance Warning, this allows for a buffer zone to help protect our emergency personnel and for the safety of the public by warning them there is an emergency situation ahead.

We also try to educate as many people as possible on the awareness of MOSD, (move over slow down). Every day, our nation’s firefighters, EMTs/paramedics, state troopers, police officers, sheriff’s deputies, tow operators, and departments of transportation responders are exposed to the grave hazards inherent in emergency responses on the nation’s highways and roadways.

In 2019, Shield got involved with Benches for Babes and has since then transformed this program into what is known today as Shield 4 Kids. This program was designed to put picnic benches at the bus stops for the children to sit on to give them an alternative to sitting or standing in the roadways and to make them a more visible to oncoming traffic on the roads.

This program was created when 12-year old Alana Tamplin was a victim of a hit-and-run while she was near her sister’s bus stop in January and 8-year-old Layla Aiken was hit as she sat in the grass with her brothers, waiting for their school bus in March.

Shield 4 Kids has been consistently active in nurturing ways to improve this program every day.

Shield has begun phase 2 of its program to eliminate the picnic benches and evolve into a more suitable bench style that will provide the same safety features and will allow distribution to cover more areas a lot quicker than the current plan.

Shield 4 Kids phase 3 program would involve our responder safety vehicles to be present at the more dangerous bus stops for higher visibility to the traffic passing by to warn them that children are present.

The Shield 4 Kids phase 4 includes a 3 wall enclosed structure mounted on a secure platform which will provide shelter from the elements and solar powered motion detected lighting.

This entire program will work with the support of all the businesses in our communities sponsoring this program. If you are a concerned citizen or as a business wish to be a part of this wonderful program for the children of our communities’ we encourage you to reach out to us.

We must protect all the children of our communities, for they are our future. I am James Branham , District Director of the SW Florida Shield Foundation Inc. feel free to reach out to me at swfloridashield@yahoo.com or 239-822-0131, Director Community Relations/ Event Coordinator Karen Ambrose 239-349-5057, or Director Public Safety Susan Craske 863-233-1587.

In 2019 All of the Shield Directors were C.E.R.T. certified in the Community Emergency Response Team program. Our long term plans include a community center, education awareness, expanded public safety and working more closely with the communities for the safety of everyone.

Disclaimer: The newspaper does not necessarily agree with the opinions, ideas, beliefs or viewpoints expressed in the letters and op-ed pieces the newspaper publishes. The newspaper does not endorse the pieces, nor do they reflect the newspaper’s viewpoints or official policies. The newspaper publishes the pieces as a public service to further public commentary and debate as space allows.

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