Houston fire union: Firefighters should be protected with body armor

The mayor and fire chief said they don’t want to give members a false sense of security

By FireRescue1 Staff

HOUSTON — In the wake of active shooter situations across the country, the Houston fire union has called for the city to equip firefighters with body armor. 

Houston Union President Alvin White told Click2Houston that firefighters should be protected with body armor during active shooter situations.

The call for protection comes after an active shooter situation in Houston on Monday. 

“As we make more and more of these shootings, we are the first ones on location. I know our brothers in blue do come in and do their job, but usually the firefighters are the first ones on scene,” White said. “They are making these scenes without protection that they could use to protect themselves.”

Current department policy requires firefighters to wait for police to clear a scene, but sometimes firefighters find themselves in immediate danger. 

Both the Houston mayor and interim fire chief are looking into purchasing additional protective gear, but are hesitant to do so. 

“We don’t want to give our members a false sense of security,” Interim Fire Chief Rodney West said.

The chief said that while some firefighters who work in SWAT situations are equipped with body armor, is it not common for most.

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