Fire chief wants Nassau County first responders to have bulletproof vests

Steven Dial reports. 2/28/2017

YULEE, Fla. – The Nassau County Fire Chief wants bulletproof vests for firefighters and EMS workers.

“Why not if the cops get them, they are also saving people’s lives. It would help keep them safe,” said Yulee resident Devin Martin.

Bulletproof vests and ballistics helmets for firefighters and EMS workers. In Nassau County, there are mixed views.

“They are fighting fires, they aren’t police officers. I mean is someone shooting at you to go fight a fire. I don’t think it’s needed,” said Rob Henry.

The proposal would cost about $75,000 to give every firefighter and EMS worker a bulletproof vest. Truck operators would also have a ballistics helmet.

First Coast News spoke with Chief Matthew Graves on the phone. “There has been no direct threat or incident but we remain vigilant to what’s going on in our society. So we want to get our first responders the protections they need,” he said.

Devin Martin said first responders, not just police are put in scary situations.

“If the fire people are called for a bad accident or a crime with a bad person and they have a bullet proof vest that’s awesome,” said Martin.

The request for money has already gone before county council. The chief say it could take several weeks before it comes up for a vote.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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