Photo via Orlando Fire Department/Facebook
After the June 12 Pulse shooting, Orlando officials and emergency personnel decided something needed to be done for firefighters and medics responding to active crime scenes.
This culminated in a plan that has equipped all Orlando Fire Department emergency vehicles with ballistic vests and helmets designed for firefighters and medics, reports the Orlando Sentinel
It cost the city about $88,000 to buy 150 vests at $586 each. The city bought enough that every firefighter would be able to use one while on shift.
Orlando Fire Department assistant chief Hezedean Smith told the Sentinel
the vests not only protect medics from gunfire, but they also store medical equipment within easy reach.
The technique, OFD says, is inspired by military medics who need to be able to render fast aid.
Orange County Fire Rescue has also ordered new equipment for its team, purchasing 350 new ballistics vests and helmets.
The first delivery of the gear is expected in the next two weeks.
Firefighters and paramedics from both departments have gone through training to learn how to use the vests and plan to use them when conducting multi-agency practices with law enforcement.