Portland, Ore. — In an effort to keep firefighters safe, Portland Fire and Rescue has started fitting firefighters with ballistic vests.
Public Information Officer Terry Foster tells KXL the move is a recommendation from its safety committee. “It’s nothing new,” Foster said, “You’ve probably seen medics with AMR, they have them as well. It’s something we’ve talked about in the past, but it’s something we’re moving on now.”
While Foster say its just another piece of protective equipment for firefighters, he admits it is an ever changing world. “I think times change and the landscape of the types of calls we go on change over time. I now when I came in quite awhile ago, this was not even thought about.”
The vests will be red and will have the word medic written on the back. Firefighters will not wear them to every call but they will be available on all vehicles.
Foster was not clear on the cost of the program as the Bureau is still in the beginning stages of the program and it will take several weeks before bidding for the vest start. He expects the Bureau to buy approx. 200 ballistic vests for firefighters.