More firefighters are getting bullet-proof vests because of the danger of the job

More and more firefighters are using bullet-proof vests because of the dangers that come with the job.

“We beat the police officers a lot of times,” said Deputy Chief Tim Wright, High Point Fire Department.

In addition to fighting fires and responding to medical calls, firefighters want extra protection for violent calls, especially ones that involve weapons.

Winston Salem Fire Department is currently looking into buy 140 vests for their personnel costing about $86,000. They’ve been researching and budgeting for the extra layer of protection for the past two years.

“We've chosen level three vests because it provides the best protection while still allowing our personnel to be very mobile and quick in those situations,” said Captain Chris Belcher with Winston-Salem Fire Department.

FOX8 called fire departments across the Triad Tuesday afternoon and found out the High Point Fire Department has three bulletproof vests on every truck.

“It's a sad situation that it's come to this, but due to the fact that there have been some firefighters shot across the country, some intentionally. We felt like it was something we had to invest in for our personnel,” said Deputy Chief Tim Wright.

The High Point Fire Department offered their ballistic vest last year, and they’re planning to add an additional 25 more next year.

Both departments know that having these vest could save a life.

“We’re in a spot where we need that to help protect our people because it`s not a question of if it`s going to happen here, it`s when, because it will happen here, because it will happen here sooner or later,” said Captain Chris Belcher.

The Winston-Salem Fire Department plans to get their vest by the end of this year or sometime in 2019.

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