The duties of firefighters are hard and involve a great deal of risk every time they are in the field. And the risk is not just from the fire, explosions and falling structures that they have to battle for saving lives but also from the violence they often face while doing their duty. An alarmingly large number of incidents have been reported where these brave heroes have been targeted and attacked, sometimes even fatally. So their safety does deserve extra attention and this is where body armor can help. Let us see how these vests can make all the difference when it comes to saving the lives of real heroes.
What are the kinds of attacks that firefighters may face?
The primary role of firefighters is to save victims from emergencies but they may face assault in the course of duty. The circumstances in which such assaults take place to vary. Crews have to attend emergency calls in volatile areas and also have to encounter violent individuals. Moreover, they often have to deal with people of unsound mind, who may attack them without any reason or warning. They may also have to serve duty at a hostile scenario where there is the risk of shooting and stab attacks. Obviously, such attacks cannot be addressed with the turnout gear they use and they need specialized ballistic vests to counter them.
How body armor can save lives?
The main threat to firefighters is from fire and they have turnout gear that is specifically designed to keep them protected from excessive heat. However, it cannot protect them from violent attacks involving bullets, knives, and other sharp metals. When it comes to finding the gear that offers the right level of protection against such threats, you can opt for engarde body armor products. Although the materials used in turnout gear and ballistic vests are almost similar, each one has specific qualities that make them right for their respective purposes. So it becomes important for firefighters to be equipped with both. Although fire departments may have second thoughts about justifying this expense, it is absolutely feasible because it saves the lives of lifesavers.
How feasible is body armor for firefighters?
The concern that firefighters may have about wearing body armor is probably about the extra weight it will add to their clothing. In addition to optimal protection and safety, these professionals need good mobility and flexibility to perform their duties well enough as they need to jump, run, climb structures, avoid falling debris and even carry people to safety. They already carry heavy turnout pants and jackets, helmets and breathing apparatus. Obviously, adding ballistic vests can increase the load for them. However, the fact that this tactical gear can save them from gunshots or stab wounds makes them completely feasible as an addition to their regular clothing and equipment. You could state that the body armor equipment for firefighters should be very easy and fast to take on/off. Once they receive an emergency call they should be on their way asap. If worn over their normal duty clothing the body armor (carrier) should also be made of high tier fire-resistant material.
It is to be noted that not all pieces of body armor are created equal. They vary in terms of their weight, size and protection levels they offer. Considering that firefighters need ones that offer adequate protection without hampering their mobility, it is important to choose the right kind of armor for them. Right fits are important and so is training them to wear ballistic gear while working in the field.