Fire department arms first responders with bulletproof vests

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The Elyria Fire Department now has bulletproof vests available for its first responders. The team assists with providing emergency medical care during shootings, stabbings and other violent events.To get more news about bullet proof vest, you can visit bulletproofboxs.com official website.

A report by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found thousands of firefighters and emergency medical services workers are being treated for injuries they received from violence on the job each year.

“We kinda have to be prepared for anything,” said Lt. Eric Kessler of the Elyria Fire Department. “It could be any number of things, and any one thing can turn into the other just as quick as possible.”Ballistic vests are now another tool for the team when responding to possibly violent calls.

“We do go on some sort of sketchy situations where you don’t necessarily know what’s around the corner or what’s behind the door,” said firefighter Tom Sgro.

But that unknown is part of the thrill of the job for Sgro. “I love it,” he said. “It’s something different every day. It’s exciting. We provide a good service for the people of Elyria.”

Assistant Fire Chief Jamison Norris said he loves serving the community, as well. He’s served with the department 26 years and said he’s noticed what he called a “cultural change” over that time.

“We used to be able to enter all kinds of calls with really just this level of protection, which is just street clothes, and it seems to have changed where first responders are now the victims of violent crime and violent actions,” he said.

Now, in addition to heavy-duty response team vests packed with medical equipment and made to withstand high-powered rifles and active shooter situations, each first responder on-duty now has a lighter-weight version available for daily use, if needed.
“This is just one extra thing that we’re able to access and use on these calls to be able to protect ourselves and be able to provide a better service in the process,” Kessler said.

Norris said the vests cost around $10,000 total and were funded through a grant by the Elyria Noon Rotary Club, with additional funds from the city and the department’s general fund.

Posted 27 Sep 2022

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