ALTOONA, Iowa – The Altoona Fire Department has added an extra layer of protection for its Rescue Task Force to help law enforcement during an active threat.
The Altoona City Council approved purchasing 10 sets of active threat gear for the firefighters and EMS paramedics to use during an all-hazards situation.
Altoona Fire Department Lieutenant Doug Richardson said the additional gear will allow first responders to help people who may already be injured during an active threat.
“You know we are one big team. We go on a lot of calls with our police officers here in Altoona. Fire and EMS are on department, so just again another added layer of protection for that all hazards threat,” Richardson said.
The ballistic vests have multiple chest seals, combat gauze, tourniquets, airway devices, and other advanced trauma supplies. In addition, there is a hard helmet and eye gear.
“It’s a trending thing across the U.S. It’s the world we live in these days. It’s just another added layer of protection for our staff, something that has been kind of a hot topic in a lot of the literature we are reading,” Richardson said.
Richardson said some examples the gear could be used for situations include an active shooter, stabbing, and domestic violence.
There is additional training with the new gear first responders will need to do before they can use it.
The Altoona City Council approved budgeting for the active threat gear and supplies for the 2018-2019 fiscal year budget.
The Altoona Fire Department will begin to use the new gear beginning the week of June 10th. Other departments that have similar gear include Clive Fire Department and Johnston-Grimes Fire Department