EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – The thought of an unimaginable tragedy, like the country saw unfold in Nashville on Monday, happening close to home is why a local agency has added an extra layer of protection.
“It’s something that’s very, very worth us putting out there and scattering it around because nobody ever knows, You know, Nashville… They didn’t expect this to happen,” said Deputy Chief Chris Denton of the Edmond Fire Department. “We want to make sure that we have the tools and equipment that we need to be able to do the very best job that we can do.”
Last week, the Edmond Fire Department bought four new sets of ballistic gear.
“Nationwide, we’ve seen an uptick of fire departments in particular having this type of equipment,” said Denton.
He explained that in an active shooter situation, law enforcement typically would be the agency to take the lead and fire would stay back until the situation is clear. However, this new gear could allow firefighters to safely get closer to the scene to help out.
“So, instead of staying completely outside, we wanted to be able to maybe come on to the property of a large area that may have, you know, an active shooter,” said Denton. “We realize that it’s an important step for us to take, to move forward, to be able to get to our patients.”
Denton said each kit costs about $2,000. It includes a bullet-proof vest, helmet and a “drag bag.”
The vest includes a ceramic plate that, according to Denton, could stop a gunshot from a rifle, while the soft body armor on the sides of the vest could stop a round shot from a handgun. The vest also has a tourniquet and other items to stop bleeding.
“If I had all of this stuff on, I would feel much safer and it would allow me cognitively to do my job better,” said Denton.
The Edmond Fire Department now has eight sets of the ballistic gear in total.