MIAMI TOWNSHIP, Ohio — A fire department used grant funding to purchase ballistic vests for its firefighters and paramedics.
WHIO reported that Miami Valley Fire District responders began using their extra layer of security last month.
“It’s a flip of how you think and how you operate when you do put it on,” Lt. Brett Beach said.
Responders will wear the vests on calls where there is a possibility of a weapon being on the scene.
“That’s not specifically because of one thing,” Beach said. “It’s because of the culmination of all these different types of scenarios we can get into, whether it’s a school shooting or a mass shooting, domestic violence, overdoses and that’s just another level of protection for all the firefighters.”
Ballistic vests are becoming more and more common among first responders. In 2014, FEMA recommended all responders wear them while going into the “warm zone” or an area that “can be considered clear but not secure” so that they can “treat and evacuate victims located within or near an active shooter/mass casualty incident area.”
Beach said the ballistic vests give responders “a different mindset.”
“Some would say it’s sad and I wouldn’t dispute that, but you have to keep going. I can’t not keep going as far as the job is concerned.”