In July of 2014, I attended the South Atlantic Fire Rescue Expo in Raleigh, NC with Rhett (FireCritic.com) and Willie (IronFiremen.com) Shortly after arriving, I met a few brothers from Mooresville Fire (NC) that were hanging around and giving a helping hand with the BBQ contest. Among these guys was Justin Cagle, a firefighter with Mooresville. Following the show, I kept in contact with Justin, as I do many of the guys that I have the pleasure of meeting while travelling around.
A few months later, I was contacted by Justin, who told me that he had recently started working with leather and had been building shields for the guys in his department, and was looking to start fulfilling orders for brothers and sisters across the country. The company that he has started up is called Fully Involved Leatherworks. Since I had not had a custom shield made with my Model City Firefighter Logo on it, I told Justin it would be an honor to have him create me a shield. This is where the process started.
Fully Involved Leatherworks is very easy to contact via their Facebook Fan page (link) or by phone. Once they find out exactly what you are wanting and a rough drawing is complete, the customer is sent a PayPal invoice for payment. The customer can then complete the payment with a card or with PayPal. As soon as the payment is made, the item is placed into the que for the work to be completed. Contact Fully Involved Leatherwords by Email at firstname.lastname@example.org to start the process.
The sky is the limit! Fully Involved Leatherworks has made the process easy by having a form available for the customer to fill out or provide a rough sketch onto a template to give an idea of what they are looking for! When it came to the Model City Firefighter shield, I left the design up to the company. All I asked is that my MCFF.com logo to be part of the design, as this will be the shield that I wear at events and during my travels. While I wanted it to be somewhat up to the company, I can not express how pleased I was with the work that they completed.
The quoted price does not include shipping. As soon as the work is complete, the shield is shipped to the customer.
After the design process was complete, Fully Involved Leatherworks updated me with a photo of my shield pre-paint! The craftsmanship that was put into this shield is amazing, and it was obvious that it wasn’t a quick, rushed job. Due to the small letters inside of the maltese cross, the standard stamped letters could not be used. They painted them by hand, and I knew I would love the finished product.
The details that were placed into the shield turned out amazing. The leather is thick, and very durable. While I haven’t installed the shield on my Phenix TL-2 yet, I look forward to sporting this shield at the next events that I am able to attend. The words Pride, Tradition, and Honor from the logo are some of the core values to the fire service. The RFB- 219 pays tribute to my Instructor, mentor, and friend, Earl Morphew. Cpt. Morphew passed away on 01-28-08, and I take every opportunity to honor him and the values that he passed along to me during the time we knew each other.
Fully Involved Leatherworks is always working on developing and offering new products for clients who are in the market for leatherwork. While they were in the shop, I asked if they would make a few glove straps for my Captain and Engineer. The glove straps are fastened with snaps, and attach to the gear using the same attachment as most radio anti-sway straps. Once again, they took time to put details into each letter that was placed on the strap. The straps have two snaps to help ensure that they can fit a variety of gloves.
Glove Straps: $15
Shields: $50-$75 (The quoted price varies depending on complexity of the shields. The majority of the shields fall into this price range, but can be as much as $100)
*Quoted price does not include shipping*
The attention to detail in the shield shows! The hand carved shield was very well made, and the fine details popped once the paint was complete. This is a newer company that has great potential to grow! The current completion times depend on the workload, but have been running between 2-3 weeks. If you would like to receive you items by Christmas, the order needs to be submitted soon! I would definitely recommend that those of you who are looking for a quality shield to consider purchasing a shield from Fully Involved Leatherworks. This firefighter owned/operated company out of North Carolina is constantly looking for new design ideas, and is great to work with.
Justin Cagle- Owner
Fully Involved Leatherworks– Facebook (link)