CINCINNATI, OH — Hoping to equip all of the city’s firefighters with custom ballistic vests, the president of the firefighters’ union is asking for $250,000 in the next budget.
Local 48 President Matt Alter says the department currently has vests for 187 firefighters, but the department needs 600 more to equip all of the city’s firefighters, WVXU reported.
Alter also noted in a report to the city, “the vests that are supplied on the fire apparatus are the most recently expired vests from the Cincinnati Police Department.”
He said firefighters don’t want the vests, but they also want to be able to do their jobs without being shot at.
Councilman Christopher Smitherman backs the proposal and calls it the new reality.
“No one probably 50 years ago would think that we would be talking about our firefighters needing bulletproof vests,” he said. “But whether 50 years ago that’s true or not, it’s true today. And if it saves the life of one firefighter, then it was worth it.”