AURORA, IL — Aurora aldermen are set to approve purchase of 60 bulletproof vests for Aurora’s firefighters.
The purchase comes in the wake of the Feb. 15 mass shooting at the Henry Pratt Co. building that claimed the lives of five workers, and injured six police officers.
On that day, firefighters accompanied police officers into the building to find and confront the shooter as part of special tactical units. It was the first time the city had used the combined units. The idea is that paramedics are on the scene to quickly help with injuries during an incident.
As it happens, plans were already underway for purchase of the vests, but those plans did not materialize in time for the Feb. 15 incident.
Aldermen at the Finance Committee level, which recommended the purchase, pointed out that firefighters went into the building during the active shooting, even though they did not have the vests.
Aldermen this week, acting as a Committee of the Whole, agreed to spend $86,349 to buy the 60 bulletproof vests, as well as helmets, accessories, goggles and medical supplies. The contract would cover buying from Pro-Tech, Henry Schein Medical Supply and Galeton.
The full City Council still needs to take a final vote on the purchase.
Despite hurrying up after the Feb. 15 incident, a fire department spokesman said the city got five bids to buy the equipment. Originally, officials planned to spend $70,000 on the purchase, but had upped that in the budget to $110,000.
So the final price was about $30,000 under the budgeted amount, fire department officials said.
From The Chicago Tribune