Lubbock Firefighters Getting Body Armor Because of "The Increase in Violence"

LUBBOCK, TX - Lubbock firefighters will have body armor available to them according to a statement released Wednesday by Lubbock Fire Rescue.

Body armor comes in different types but typically it’s considered to be bullet resistant.  

LFR said, “Due to the increase in violence across the country many professional organizations including International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) have determined that including Body Armor as part of the personnel protective equipment is a national best practice.”

“Protective Body Armor will be worn frequently at incidents to protect our firefighters,” LFR said.

LFR acts as a first responder agency not only for fires, but also for medical emergencies, car crashes, stabbing incidents, shootings and many other situations. Often, LFR is called alongside police and EMS. 

News accounts indicate that the Federal Emergency Management Agency recommended body armor for firefighters starting with a report in 2014.

In 2014, news reports said a gunman ambushed firefighters in Webster, New York.  Two firefighters were killed and two others were injured while seven homes were destroyed by fire. The gunman then killed himself. 

In 2016 a man shot two firefighters – one fatally – in Prince George’s County, Maryland.  Firefighters were helping force entry into a house to provide medical care for someone who was thought to be passed out.  Ultimately, charges were not filed for the shooting. But there were charges later for illegal firearm possession. 

In May of 2017 a Dallas-Fire Rescue paramedic was shot and critically wounded. A neighbor was also shot and wounded in that same incident.  After finding a suspect, authorities then learned he also shot and killed his roommate and committed suicide.

“There have not been any instances in Lubbock where our firefighters have been shot, stabbed or physically injured from an act of violence,” LFR said. 

The decision in Lubbock was part of a national trend rather than a reaction to a specific local incident.  

The full statement from LFR is as follows: 

This week Lubbock Fire Rescue will be placing Protective Body Armor for personnel use on all front line apparatus in the city. The body armor will be used by fire department first responders when they are responding to an incident where they feel the need for the armor is indicated by Lubbock Fire Rescue procedures. Due to the increase in violence across the country many professional organizations including International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) have determined that including Body Armor as part of the personnel protective equipment is a national best practice.

Lubbock Fire Rescue would like to inform our citizens there is no need to be alarmed when a firefighter is seen wearing Protective Body Armor, because there are multiple instances where a firefighter will wear Body Armor. Firefighter safety is a top priority for Lubbock Fire Rescue and the City of Lubbock. Therefore, Protective Body Armor will be worn frequently at incidents to protect our firefighters. As a good practice with every incident, bystanders are asked to keep clear of the scene and allow the first responders room to help the individual in need.

 


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