VIDEO: Portland firefighters will soon add bulletproof vests to their arsenal of firefighting gear. Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) confirmed the city will order 200 vests in the near future.
“First responders, as they go in, we can become targets,” said Alan Ferschweiler, president of the Portland Firefighters Association. He said concern over criminal attacks among union members has increased in recent years. “Even if you look at the totality of the city, it's definitely become a less safe place to work for their firefighters,” said Ferschweiler. “There's no way to mince any words.”
Last week, the union and management agreed that every Portland firefighter should get a ballistic vest—something designed to withstand a knife attack or bullet. “Our Chief [Sara Boone] cares about our members and she does not want, on her watch, something like that to happen,” said Portland Fire & Rescue PIO, Terry Foster.