Axon distributes PPE to first responders worldwide
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Scottsdale-based Axon, which makes Taser weapons and Axon body cameras, met its goal of delivering 1 million masks, thousands of hand sanitizers, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to first responders around the world.
Axon wrapped up the 30-day project on a recent weekend by preparing the last 650 first-responder shipments.
“It was a lot of fun,” says Steve Tuttle, a principal with Taser. “It was very rewarding. It was one of those rare opportunities where you can pay back clients in the right way. There was no charge for any of this stuff. It became a monster force that breathed its own success.”
One pallet of hand sanitizer weighed 2,000 pounds, he adds.
“The weight was enormous,” he says. “The quality was off the chart. The need was something that was really overwhelming.”
The project started when Axon put a call out to first responders—clients and nonclients—to gauge need for PPE. About 3,000 requests were made the first day. Within a week, the company topped out and added a wait list.
“It blew up on us in a good way,” he says. “If you build it, they will come, when it comes to PPE.”
Tuttle says the company committed $1.7 million to the campaign and matched the funds up to $500,000 with the National Police Foundation.
The first responders were appreciative. Navajo County Sheriff David Clouse drove an SUV to Axon to transport PPE to the Navajo Nation, the Hopis and the Apaches in the White Mountains—101 gallons of hand sanitizer and hundreds of masks. He returned at the end of May for more.
“We put his seats down,” Tuttle says. “That didn’t quite work. We put the seats back up and started stacking the items on the seats. We started unboxing 1-gallon containers. It looked like a clown car.
“We filled every nook and cranny. Then, we got 8-ounce bottles and filled any air gap. He saved us an enormous amount of money and time to get it to the right people. This just keeps making us smile.”
Tuttle told his children about the campaign, dubbed #GotYouCovered. He says it impacts everyone involved.
“It was a catastrophic pandemic,” he says. “With 9/11, you always wonder what you could do, but there’s really nothing that could have been done. With this, we did something about it. That was a really special feeling. It was a minor cog in the safety of the country.”