Vincennes (IN) Fire Department Adds Ballistic Vests

The Vincennes City Fire Department added 10 ballistic vests to its collection of first responding gear. The new equipment is considered a firefighting first responders who also respond to domestic disturbances and other dangerous situations.

Gordon Becher, Vincennes Fire Chief, said that the vests were already in the works prior to the incidents in Ferguson (MO), but served as a reminder that firefighters do work in dangerous situations.

“My goal was to make sure that we give them, given the events that have actually gone on nationally, but even here in our hometown to offer our men an added level of protection,” said Becher.

The Vincennes Fire Department, on average, responds to 2,400 calls per year. While the VFD is known most for fighting fires, the department responds to a multitude of calls that include medical runs and domestic disputes. Those types of calls, Becher noted, are typically first cleared by police officers, but fire fighters stage in an area near an active to scene to deliver care.

“You would be surprised how many calls we go to where we have to stage until law enforcement clears the scene or we respond to a fight call, any call in which something like that goes on we stage we have our firefighters put on the vest just as an added level of protection,” he added.

Each vest costs the department approximately $550, with some of the funds to pay for it coming from the Thursday Church in Vincennes. In total, the department received 10 vests, or one vest for each member of a rotating shift.

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