WASHINGTON — The safety of area fire and EMS workers is a top concern after one firefighter was killed and another was seriously injured in Temple Hills. The two had forced their way into a home Friday after being asked to check on a person inside, who opened fire.
“We just never thought in our time that we’d have to worry about our first responders being targeted, or accidentally shot or attacked,” said Brett Garrett, chief of Green Pond Fire and Rescue/West Alabama Emergency Services, and a member of the National EMS Advisory Council. He said uncertainty about emergency calls has led departments to increasingly consider the use of bulletproof vests.
“More and more systems are issuing body armor to providers. The issue you have is the cost of this,” Garrett said. Also, while newer gear is lighter and less cumbersome, it can still be problematic for emergency workers.
“Is it an issue wearing body armor under turnout gear? Of course,” he said.