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Video: Denver Firefighters Using Ballistic Vests, Helmets

July 05, 2016  | 

VIDEO: Denver Firefighters Using Ballistic Vests, Helmets

When first responders in Denver are called to an active shooting scene, police officers and SWAT teams are no longer the only ones wearing bullet-resistant gear, reports KCNC.

Denver firefighters are now outfitted with Kevlar vests and helmets so they, too, are protected from gunfire on scene.

"The front plate and the rear plate are designed to stop a high-powered round," Captain Jeff Linville with the Denver Fire Department said of the vests. "You have to keep in mind that police, their job is to go in and find the shooter. Our job as EMTs is to potentially save victims that are potentially down."

Last Tuesday, the new equipment was put to use when police got a call for an "active shooter" at the Alliance Center downtown. Police entered the building first, followed by Denver firefighters who were escorted by armed officers.

"The members did exactly what they're trained to do," Linville said.

The bullet-proof equipment went into service about a month ago, Linville said, following six months of training with police and SWAT. Linville said training will be ongoing for the department.

Comments (8)

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

KevcopAz @ 7/5/2016 8:12 PM

Sad sign of the times, F/F having to wear this type of equipment on a non SWAT call.

John retired IA PD @ 7/5/2016 9:09 PM

Now Fire fighters have to wear body armor to save lives. The crazys out there don't care who they kill anymore. I hope that things start to change soon.

Nightstalker @ 7/5/2016 11:16 PM

This is stupid as before i got into Law-Enforcement, I use to be a firefighter and the amount of stuff i had to carry at a fire it was enough and now this, Police always look out for the fire dept at a call, and without the police not feeling it was not safe to go in then we would hold back.

Kevin @ 7/6/2016 5:41 AM

@nightstalker. I agree. As a Volunteer FF/EMT we cannot make entry until PD has secured the scene. In fact, depending on the situation we have to stage our vehicles a safe distance until Fire/MedCOM gives us an all clear. This applies to not only to an active shooter situation but to domestics, ODs, protective custody incidents, etc. Basically any call in which we are dispatched and a human threat to themselves or to others are involved.

OK then @ 7/6/2016 6:05 AM

It is a sad state of affairs when FD has to wear body armor. I am looking forward to the cries from the social justice warriors about the militarization of firemen.

Henry Johnson @ 7/6/2016 7:31 AM

I am surprised to hear from former FD members complain about added equipment.
I can relate to the about of gear that we (PD) carries. Now we have Hazmat suits and have quarterly training how to use it.
I worked the South Los Angeles area for a number of years. Both FD and PD crews responded to a large amount (usually daily) of gunshot victims. Many were homicides. It was not uncommon to take sniper fire.
The 92 L.A. riots was crazy with shots fired. I would rather have the equipment and not need it than need the equipment and not have it.

Church Security Institute @ 7/7/2016 10:51 AM

Nightstalker, as a Police Officer, I did that many times many years ago. Mostly back then we both faced rocks and bricks thrown at us on arrival.

Today it's much more dangerous, with bullets flying, sometimed in spite of Police on site. The biggest fear is what if Police can't get there, stay, or be everywhere at the same time on scene?

With Fire now doing EMS and someone injuresd, cut or shot, maybe a baby in need of life saving, how long can or will you wait before saving life?

Bettef to have a couple more pounds and go back to statukn and home alive, vs shot dead.

Jimmy @ 9/9/2018 12:11 PM

Kevin, by your thought process, we should wait for the fire to go out and the air to clear before we get close to a structure fire, 'cause those scenes aren't safe either! Wait, we have gear to help protect us. Now we have gear to help with protection on violent scenes, plus alot of professional training. It might be different for your volunteer agency, but our career big city job calls for us career firefighters and medics to observe the golden hour in a trauma situation, and get in there before some medical dispatcher finally gets police notification that "the scene is safe". Just sayin'. So, thanks for volunteering, but leave the scary dangerous stuff to us. Stay at your office or wherever you work when your beeper goes off so you don't risk getting hurt. Also, never volunteer back east, 'cause those volunteers are the real deal! You would never know it's not their real job. Good luck to you sir, be safe.

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