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Nassau County Fire requesting ballistic body armor vests

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NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – One local department could soon receive special gear due to recent acts of violence against first responders.

Nassau County firefighters could soon be prepared in case a routine call turns violent.

It’s something firefighters shouldn’t have to worry about- bullets flying at them. But we’ve seen instances where firefighters responding to a call wound up getting killed- not by flames but by gunfire.

In April of 2016, a 37-year-old firefighter and father was shot and killed while responding to an emergency call at a home in Maryland. He kicked in the door because no one responded and the homeowner opened fire.

In December of 2012, a man set fire to a home and car to lure firefighters, he then shot and killed two and injured two others.

It’s scenes like these that is causing Nassau County Fire Rescue to request $78,712 of funding for 110 ballistic body armor vests and 35 helmets for their firefighters.

The people they protect in Nassau County believe the life-saving gear is a good investment.

“Anything we can do to protect the people that are working for city and the safety of the people that live here is definitely worth doing,” said Jeff Spencer.

“I think it’s necessary- definitely worth the money. I'm in the military so I understand the need for protective equipment. We use it every day so I definitely feel I'm going to pay for it if it's necessary for the safety of those guys that are helping save our lives,” said Mitch Dennis, another Nassau County resident.

This is something the county commission will have to vote on, as being a part of the upcoming budget.