Ark. EMS to wear body armor on calls

Of the 275 bullet-resistant vests ordered, 30 are made of steel plates

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Spurred by recent attacks on police officers and other first responders, the Little Rock Ambulance Authority approved the purchase of 275 bullet-resistant vests for its EMS personnel.

The Metropolitan Emergency Medical Service of Little Rock plans to spend $275,000 to outfit its ambulance crews with body armor, which most EMTs will be required to wear over their uniforms.

According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, MEMS first considered purchasing body armor for its personnel in late 2015, after Firefighter Ronald Jason Adams was fatally shot on duty.

Following recent shootings in Orlando, Dallas and Baton Rouge, MEMS executive director Jon Swanson said the process became more urgent.

"We learn lessons as we look at the situations from Orlando, Baton Rouge - all of these situations give us more of a sense of information, and a sense of reality, that when you find yourself in the middle of one of these deals, you can't go home and dress out for something, Swanson said. “You have to react with what you have in front of you right now."

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