Local business donates over $83K in safety gear to Washington County schools

ST. GEORGE — Local business Statpacks has donated over $83,000 in safety gear to Washington County schools. The donation reduces the estimated time to outfit all schools with modern equipment by 10 years, Steve Dunham, director of communications for the Washington County School District announced in the January school board meeting.

Statpacks, Inc. donated over $83,000 of safety gear to all schools of Washington County School District, St. George, Utah, Jan. 10, 2023 | Photo by Nick Yamashita, St. George News

“They reached out to us and wanted to help with the emergency preparedness of our schools,” Dunham said.

Charli Nelson, the public relations director for Statpack, also was present at the meeting, and she, along with Dunham, said there was an emergency bag donated to every school within the district.

The basic Statvests retail at $65 each while advanced Statvests retail at $99 each, altogether equating to a donation of nearly $60,000.

Statpacks total donation was valued at over $83,000, Nelson said.

“Everyone who works at Statpacks has a child at a school in Washington County,” Nelson said to the school board. “You guys have given so much to each of our children. I really appreciate everything you guys have done for all of our children and so we are happy to give back to our community.”

On top of that donation, the company donated another two to five shoulder bags for each school for use in athletics, for a total of more than 60 bags.

The bags are used by law enforcement, fire and ambulances across the nation, and even internationally. They have multiple pockets with straps for carrying on the shoulder or back. They are specifically designed for emergency response and retail at $395 each. The donation for the bags equaled over $25,000 in value, as previously reported by St. George News.

“Here’s the thing, they decided they weren’t done,” Dunham said.

Michael Lee, who serves as the school district risk management coordinator, said the next donation was safety vests, both basic and advanced Statvests.

Nelson modeled the vest for the board. The Statvests are made of high-quality material and include velcro adjustments to fit any sized person, pockets for needed tools and essentials and custom lettering of each person’s role. They also feature a five-point breakaway system, which helps prevent injuries if vests are caught in machinery and allows for immediate removal should the vest catch on fire.

Lee said the vests they bought last year with the available budget did not have that capability and were of much lower quality than the Statvest.

“At this rate from last year, it would have taken us over a decade to collect enough safety vests for us,” Lee said.

Dunham said that Statpack provided over 760 vests, which shaved a decade off the district’s emergency preparedness goals.

The school district board applauds the efforts of Statpacks, Inc. who donated over $83,000 of safety gear to all schools of Washington County School District, St. George, Utah, Jan. 10, 2023 | Photo by Nick Yamashita, St. George News

Board member Burke Staheli asked to add a comment about the donations.

“As a recent former principal I think our district does an amazing job at training on safety and school safety,” Staheli said. “But when I saw those I got giddy because they are modern, they’re consistent throughout all schools, and it’s been about 10 or 11 years since we got those old green ones. They (the schools) are going to love you, so thank you.”

In an interview after the school board meeting, Nelson said the company was started in 2002 by her husband, Scott Nelson.

While an EMT in Las Vegas in the 1990s, Scott Nelson realized the current medical bags caused back problems among other issues. With a single sewing machine and a garage, Statpacks was born.

Charli Nelson said the company is where it is today because of its employees and the support of the community.

“The goal of our products is to combine the outdoor industry with the medical world,” she said. “The tough(ness), durability and comfort of outdoor gear with the set-up of emergency medical needs.”

She said they are always looking for ways to donate to the community and there was no better way than to help the children.

Statpacks, Inc. Public Relations Director Charli Nelson speaks to the Washington County School Board about the importance of the safety of the children, St. George, Utah, Jan. 10, 2023 | Photo by Nick Yamashita, St. George News

“Now they can focus on the safety drills,” she said. “The kids don’t have to be concerned about who to follow or ask for help. The staff doesn’t have to worry about making themselves visible to the kids. They don’t have to stress about that stuff and just focus on the drills.”

Nelson and her husband released a statement about their donation efforts.

“We think it’s important to return the favor, and every day we try to do just that,” the statement said. “We feel extraordinarily fortunate not only to have had this job all these years but to be in a position to make a positive impact in our respective communities.”

Charli Nelson said if there are concerns about safety within the communities to let them know.

“While our size is somewhat limiting in terms of the overall impact we can make, there is one word that you will never, ever hear at StatPacks – that word is ‘no,’” she said. “Our mission is to help you, help others.”

All pictures of products in the video are courtesy of Statpacks. They have an online store, an Amazon store and can be found on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2023, all rights reserved.

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