BATESVILLE, Ark. (KAIT) - The Batesville Fire Department will have new protective gear when responding to calls but it may not be what you think.
On Friday, the department will order 16 new steel-plated bullet-proof vests.
Fire Chief Brent Gleghorn says it’s all about being prepared for any scene and being able to properly assist victims.
"It’s sad to say in this day and time that we need to even consider body armor for our firefighters,” Gleghorn said. “We try to be proactive and we protect our employees the best way we can.”
In most active shooting events, EMS and firefighters must wait until police arrive and clear the scene for them in order to tend to victims.
Now, those vests will increase their safety and will allow them to do their job while officers work to de-escalate scenes.
The department also just completed an active attack response course to improve their skills and responses.
The 16 vests will cost around $14,000. They are paid for through the alcohol tax from local restaurants in the city and the collected tax is dedicated to the public safety fund.