Va. fire department to receive body armor

The Danville Fire Department ordered 57 vests for $30,000 after a couple close calls

By FireRescue1 Staff

DANVILLE, Va. — In the wake of a shooting at a fire scene that injured an Ohio firefighter, a Virginia fire department has decided to equip their firefighters with body armor. 

The Danville Fire Department ordered 57 vests last week for $30,000, reported WSLS. The department originally only had one vest for the fire marshal, but there will now be a vest for every seat in department vehicles. 

Fire Chief David Eagle said his department has already had a couple close calls. “We had an EMS call where we were called to check on a patient that was unresponsive and nobody could reach him for several days,” Chief Eagle said. “So, we had to make entry into the house and he shot into the door.”

Fire Marshal Richie Guill said although the body armor can be cumbersome for firefighters, wearing it gives him an “added sense of security.” 

Chief Eagle said the amount of gear firefighters already wear while on-duty played a factor in selecting the right type of vests.

“They make the vests now, they’re zipped in the front. You can open them up, be able to get some cool air in them, and be able to cool off,” Chief Eagle said.

Firefighters are expected to begin using the vests in 2017.

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