The Oklahoma City Fire Department will soon receive almost $500,000 worth of protective gear.
When firefighters are on the scene of a blaze, anything can happen. Without the gear, their crews can become vulnerable to injuries.
“The equipment is not cheap, but our personnel are certainly worth protecting,” OKCFD Battalion Chief Benny Fulkerson said. “People think that we just fight fires, but we do a lot of other things including responding with our law enforcement partners when it comes to an active shooter situation incident or a hostile situation.”
While the gear is pricey, Fulkerson can name several incidents where it would’ve helped them in the past.
“We’ve responded on several calls just within the past few years, the Louie’s (Grill & Bar) on the lake (Lake Hefner Parkway) incident, a couple of accident shooter incidents at the Penn Square mall a couple of years ago,” Fulkerson said.
The donation will provide 224 kits to the Oklahoma City Fire Department. Each kit comes with angel armor vest carriers, soft body armor, ballistic plates and helmets.
“Sometimes we've gone into situations where a firearm was produced and we didn't expect that, so firefighters encounter it all,” Fulkerson said. “It's a dangerous job in itself because of fighting fires and dealing with hazardous material, but that's just another area that we have to be aware of be thinking about.”
Donations for the kits will go through the charity “shield616.”
The fire department will receive the kits once enough money is funded.