The vests will be part of the gear that firefighters and paramedics maintain each shift, and will be on various emergency vehicles. They will be mandatory in situations when dispatchers have information that the request for assistance involves the potential for direct confrontation. Direct confrontation potential could include shootings, stabbings, fighting, alcohol, violent crime scenes or other high risk of violence.
"While we want our personnel to be protected in high risk situations, we do not want the people we are called to help to perceive us as a threat," said Fire Chief Don Bennett. "This is why we have purchased red vests that are highly identifiable as Fire Department, and why our personnel will only be wearing them in situations that pose high risk."