FEMA recommends firefighters wear bulletproof vests

Jacksonville Association of Firefighters believes could help Jacksonville fire crews

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Federal Emergency Management Agency is urging fire agencies across the U.S. to outfit their firefighters in bulletproof vests.

FEMA said every firefighter in America should wear the protection to keep them safe, when responding to dangerous situations.

Randy Wyse with the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters told Channel 4 that he believes bulletproof vests could be a step in the right direction for Jacksonville fire crews.

"We come upon situations. I've had personal situations where one of the people has a gun in his hand and just shot the individual. So we run into situations like that where we don't get all the information," said Wyse. "A dangerous situation and a bulletproof vest would be good at that point."

FEMA believes the bulletproof vests are a smart investment, citing situations like last year's school shooting in Newtown, Conn. A fire department in Texas is already considering the expense.

Wyse said the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters would support the idea under certain conditions.

"I don't think our policy should change where if it's a known shooter type situation or stabbing, or if it's unknown if it's a secure scene. A firefighter should stage far enough away for law enforcement to go in, secure the scene to make sure that it is safe for us to come in and render aid," said Wyse.

Wyse told Channel 4 getting Jacksonville's crews outfitted in bulletproof vests is possible but before that happens, there would need to be more discussion about financing, and what kind of vest to use and when to use it.

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