As the U.S. continues to cope after the shooting massacre in side the Pulse night club in Orlando, Florida, necn has discovered a Vermont manufacturer of military and police protective gear produced the bullet-resistant helmet credited with saving a police officer's life.
In response to inquiries from necn, Revision confirmed a barcode inside Officer Michael Napolitano's helmet traced the piece of equipment back to the company's plant in Newport, Vermont.
"It really focuses everyone on the fact that what we do every day — it matters," said Mike Dubie of Revision.
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A photo from the Orlando Police Department widely shared on social media showed Napolitano's helmet badly damaged by a bullet from the gunman. The department wrote on Twitter that the helmet saved the officer's life.
"This is someone who was putting their life on the line to stop the killing," Dubie said, looking at a printout of the viral picture Thursday. "And if he didn't have this helmet, he'd be dead."
The barcode determined the officer's lifeline, a Revision product called the Batlskin Viper A3, was made in Newport on July 29, 2014, Dubie said.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, said he planned to personally thank the worker who molded the helmet, and pass on his appreciation to all the Revision employees in Newport, in a phone call to the facility.
"Another life has been saved through the skilled, careful and vital work of these conscientious Vermonters," Leahy said in a written statement to necn. "That makes us so proud and thankful as Vermonters. Day in and day out, the people of Revision keep our public safety officers and service members safe. Four years ago, Revision Military recognized the outstanding work the men and women in Newport were capable of, and they bought a struggling helmet production facility. They invested in this facility and its workforce — not just to keep it going, but to expand it. Out of this Orlando tragedy of hate and terror, their work is a ray of goodness. I'm full of gratitude for the Vermonters and the Vermont company that saved this victim's life by doing their jobs with care and devotion."
Revision said its team in Newport is grateful to have been able to help in the police response, and joins the nation in its embrace of Orlando.
"The fact that it happened at all just breaks your heart," Dubie said. "But, the fact that we could maybe prevent one more life from being taken — it connects us to the tragedy in a way we will never forget."
Tom Torti of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce recently toured the Revision plant in Newport as part of a business development project and met the workers. He said after learning about their responsibility for making the helmet used in Orlando, he now has added admiration for them.
"It's not simply making a widget, it's making a life-saving protective device," Torti said of the Newport workers' important jobs. "They're about saving lives and doing the best they can to protect the men and women who have to wear this and go into harm's way."
Revision promises to maintain that mission, with the Orlando tragedy a reminder of how high the stakes can be.
"The work we're doing at Revision is important," Dubie said.