Firefighters test new armored vests

NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - North Charleston Fire Department joined city police Friday in an active shooter drill, also a trial run for the departments' new protective gear.
In August 2016, North Charleston City Council approved the purchase of more than 420 body armor vests for both departments' use. 100 vests are dedicated for the Fire Department, which previously did not wear any sort of protection when it comes to gunfire.

"It's a high graded body armor that is capable of protecting our people from high caliber rifle fire that's been used in many of the active shooter incidents," North Charleston Fire Chief Greg Bulanow said of the purchase in August. Bulanow said by having this armor it will enhance the capabilities his department can do while responding to potentially deadly situations.

"The main purpose of the body armor is for active shooter response," he said. "It will be available to our personnel for other incidents if deemed appropriate by the incident commander."

The fire department held an active shooter training session at the Old Naval Hospital at Rivers and Dorchester Road, instructing firefighters in their first responder role for a worst case scenario.The initial training also included triage scenarios, like packing victims' wounds and tourniquets.

According to fire department officials, future trainings will include smoke, fake gunfire and other distractions, mimicking a real-life scenario.

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