A Bonita Springs Fire District commissioner said he wants firefighters to pack heat.
Fred Forbes, the district’s treasurer and secretary, said the department should look into the feasibility of training and outfitting firefighters with body armor and guns to better protect them from being shot.
“I think it’s something we need to evaluate,” Forbes told the Daily News. “Anything to minimize the risk.”
He expects to present his proposal to his fellow commissioners at the district’s board meeting Sept. 14.
Forbes said his idea is in response to recent shootings that have claimed the lives of first responders across the country, though he couldn’t cite a specific case of a firefighter being shot and killed in the line of duty. “Every time you turn the news on, law enforcement are being shot and killed,” Forbes said. “There are instances already where firemen are going out on a call and being shot at.”
“They’re less likely to be shot at,” he said, but “there is an element of terrorist activity in the U.S. unfortunately.”
The first step to get guns in the hands of firefighters, Forbes said, would be to coordinate with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office to “make sure they’re on board” and consult with the law enforcement agency as to “what would work best.”