Spokane Wants to Provide Protective Vests to Crews

Oct. 4, 2022
Chief Brian Schaeffer said he gets calls weekly about assaults on his personnel.

With more local first responders being attacked across the nation, the Spokane Fire Department may provide its crews with bulletproof vests.

Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer told KXYL: "We've had acts of violence, actually perpetrated onto assaults onto all of the disciplines of first responders, EMS, fire department. The volume and the nature of our jobs have changed so much we're actually in reaction mode all the time."

Schaeffer said it used to be rare, but now he's getting calls weekly from EMS or firefighters saying they were hurt by someone they were trying to help. "All of us have been in situations where there have been shots fired or a shooting, or a bomb that may or may not have been detonated," he said.

Spokane's officers assist, but sometimes fire and EMS crews find themselves in dangerous situations.

"The fire department does go to situations where either weren't accurately reported, or they're just, they have to go based on the resource disparity and we don't have enough people available," Corporal Nick Briggs explained.

The chief will take his proposal to the city's public safety and community health committee in November, the station reported.

"This added level of protection could give us that leverage that we need just to make the job safer for the people we have on the street," the chief added.