A new sense of urgency is emerging to get Seattle firefighters the gear they need at riots and other scenes of violence.
Crews are being called upon to take bigger risks to help people who are hurt and this equipment is one way to keep them safe.
“We're trying to be able to have every single firefighter be able to be protected,” said Debbie Steinhauer, founder and president of the Seattle Fire Foundation.
The nonprofit foundation is raising money to purchase specially designed ballistic vests and helmets for fire crews.
The protective gear is lined with pockets to carry life-saving medical equipment. It also helps first responders feel a little more safe when there is a gunman on the loose or a riot underway.
“This is the right tool to help us provide medical care to someone in need," said Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins. The deadly shootings in Lake City in March 2019 sparked the effort to secure this gear and the fire department now has 70 sets of vests and helmets.