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Gwinnett County Fire adding body armor | News

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Gwinnett County Fire adding body armor
Gwinnett County Fire adding body armor

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- In response to the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a local fire and emergency department is adding some major safety equipment.

The Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services is adding body armor and quick response field medical kits to their equipment.

Firefighters want to be first responders and the first ones in the building during dangerous situations, but without the right equipment, it's just not safe.

Gwinnett County of Fire and Emergency Services is investing more than $300,000 to make sure they're employees are prepared and protected to run in to active shooter scenarios.

The money comes from the department's operating budget, and was just approved Tuesday afternoon.

Firefighters are already using new and improved field medical kits, which weigh just a pound and a half. Their day-to-day bags weigh more than 40 pounds.

The 239 sets of the body armor will be in the field by late summer to make sure they're ready at a moments notice for tragedy.

Firefighters would not wear these protective vests when actually fighting fires, but they would put them on when they were called to particularly violent situations where they would need to go in.

The vests likely would not have helped when five firefighters were held hostage in 2013, because that man faked a medical emergency, and they certainly were not expecting him to pull a gun.

Gwinnett is one of the first counties in Georgia to purchase the body armor and medical kits.