POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – They fight fires to keep people safe, but now their own safety is coming into question.
“Firefighters are being shot at. They are responding to more and more violent acts. When we show up to these calls and you look around, the fire departments and EMTs are the only ones who aren’t wearing anything,” Dundee Fire Chief Joseph Carbone told News Channel 8.
That is why Chief Carbone, along with city officials, purchased bullet proof vests for the entire department. Dundee is now the first fire department to do so.
Firefighters will wear them during any potentially dangerous calls.
“If we’re dispatched to an assault, shooting, stabbing, something in progress, they will put them on [before they] leave the station,” Chief Carbone said.
“A lot of times we’re there first on the scene before law enforcement,” Dundee Fire Department Assistance Chief Joe Garrison said. “Normally firefighters, EMTs and paramedics are the angels. We don’t discriminate. We help all citizens, regardless of what they believe. But, at the end of the day, I think the vest is good, because every call I go on, I think about my kids. I want to come home to them.” Read more