Bulletproof vests for Cincinnati firefighters

By Christmas, all 855 members of the Cincinnati Fire Department will have received their custom-fitted bulletproof vests.

I’ll repeat that — slowly. Bullet. Proof. Vests.

If this is a new reality, it runs counter to how I have always viewed this honorable occupation. In my mind’s eye, a firefighter is a hero who would climb a ladder and pluck Morris from a towering oak tree. No vest needed.

 

A firefighter waves back at you from the big, red truck in the homecoming parade. No vest needed.

A firefighter’s hose saves your home from being a total loss. No vest needed.

Something has changed.

The threat of falling through a collapsing ceiling, an elevator shaft or oxygen deprivation is not the only on-the-job danger today’s firefighters have to worry about. They also have to consider getting shot.

That’s a travesty.

CFD leaders asked Cincinnati City Council to purchase bulletproof vests nearly two years ago. They joined big cities like Los Angeles and Chicago who have done the same to keep their first responders from taking a bullet. Read more

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