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January 30, 2017

Wis. fire dept. mandates body armor for paramedics

By EMS1 Staff

BELOIT, Wis. — A fire department recently mandated that all of its paramedics must wear body armor while responding to disturbance calls. 

Beloit fire officials said the requirement was made due to medical personnel getting assaulted during calls, reported WKOW.

“Our guys have been attacked, they’ve been assaulted on calls,” Beloit Deputy Chief Joe Murray said. “Nowadays, across the country with different threats, we have to have that level of protection.”

Although the vests add an additional 20 to 30 pounds of weight, Murray said paramedics don’t mind. The vests also offer additional pocket space. 

“It’s the fishing vest of the fire service, we’ve got all our tools on it, they are very convenient to get into the pockets,” MercyHealth EMS Director Dr. Jay McNeal said.