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Akron, Ohio

Akron Fire Department Deploys Ballistic Vests and Helmets to Protect Medics in Dangerous Situations


City of Akron Press Release
Published: 04-05-2018

Akron, Ohio, April 5, 2018 – Starting this week, Akron Fire Department personnel will begin wearing ballistic protection in the form of ballistic vests and helmets when responding to violent or potentially violent incidents, including active shooter events.

“This is the unfortunate but necessary result of changes in our landscape, including the increasing frequency of volatile and dangerous emergency situations,” Mayor Dan Horrigan said. “One of our highest responsibilities is to the safety of our first responders. Our firefighter/medics can’t help others unless they are safe and protected themselves.”

The vests and helmets were purchased using funds from Issue 4—the new .25% income tax dedicated to police, fire, and road improvements—as well as a $29,000 grant from the Northern Ohio Golf Charities. Four sets of ballistic gear will be deployed in each Akron medical unit, to be used whenever conditions warrant added protection.

“Ballistic protection for the safety of our personnel has been a priority for the Akron Fire Department for many years,” Fire Chief Clarence Tucker said. “Providing our officers with this gear will allow them to more safely respond and care for victims at the scene of a shooting or other violent event.”

“Every aspect of this new policy has been well thought out and implemented,” District Chief Joseph Natko added, “this includes the purchase of top-of-the-line equipment, appropriate training, and the most effective use of this gear. We extend our thanks to the Northern Ohio Golf Charities for helping supply the funds to make this important program possible.”

The motto contained in The Akron Fire Department’s mission statement is “Dedicated to Service”. The Fire Department continues to honor this motto by serving the citizens and maintaining the safety of their personnel in today’s environment.

To see how the City plans to spend Issue 4 funds on police, fire, and roadway improvements this year, read the 2018 Issue 4 budget.

For further information, contact:
Ellen Lander Nischt
Press Secretary / Assistant Director of Law
166 S. High Street Akron, Ohio 44308
Phone: 330-375-2345
E-mail: [email protected]

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