Cincy firefighters advised to wear body armor following shooting

The department currently uses 200 expired police vests and plan to purchase new ones


CINCINNATI — Firefighters are being told to wear bulletproof vests after a paramedic was shot at while responding to a call.

Officials said the decision came after a gunman in a passing vehicle fired shots at a paramedic and an ambulance during a call July 16. 

“It’s truly one of the most cowardly acts I can think of,” Cincinnati Fire Union Local 48 President Matt Alter told WLWT. “He heard and felt these bullets whiz by him. As they’re completing the run, he was able to jump into the ambulance right away; his partner was already in there attending to the patient.”

In an email to the department, Assistant Chief Ron Winston requested that first responders use body armor while on potentially unsafe calls. 

The department uses 200 expired vests from Cincinnati police, but are seeking to purchase 840 new fitted vests for all firefighters. Each vest costs around $1,000.

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