East Pierce (WA) Fire and Rescue Chief Bud Backer says the Las Vegas mass shooting reinforces the safety precautions he started making months ago. He received approval to purchase 32 sets of ballistic vests and helmets. It is a $75,000 expense, and the vests will have to be replaced every five years. The goal is to be able to reach patients quickly and keep firefighters safe during dangerous calls.
“I wish we never had to think about it,” Backer told KING. “That’s where the world is right now.”
Backer explained, “If we are going to send our people into an environment to treat injured people and the scene is not entirely secure yet, that kind of scenario is referred to as a warm zone. If we are going to operate in the warm zone, state law requires that we provide ballistic protection for our firefighters.”