• Fire personnel faces a vaerity of threars on a daily basis. The need for body armor is in part from the changing role and operations of fire personnel during and after an active shooter/multiple casualty industrial incident has been changing for several years. The Fire Services Department Operational Considerations and Guide for Active Shooter and Mass Casualty Incidents describes incorporating tactical medicine into active shooter events.

    In addition to debris, heat and explosives – fire fighters are at risk of getting injured by an active shooter and violent encounters. A volunteer firefighter was shot and killed by an Arkansas man when the firefighter responder for a medical emergency call at the man’s home. Other fire crews are routine targeted and attacked when answering calls in Detroit and San Diego, and this includes getting stabbed as well as shot at.

    Fire departments are increasingly adopting ballistic vests and tactical helmets to better protect their firefighters. Contrary to the belief that stab vests may inhibit the free movement of fire fighters, they are actually quite thin and lightweight and specifically designed for free movement. Stab vests come in two different protection levels. They range from level 2 to 3, where three provides the highest level of protection. With a higher level of protection, however, the vests also get a little bulkier and harder to wear.

    Stab vests come in three different protection levels with a level 3 vest being the highest available option. The higher the level, the more likely it is to protect against an attack with higher force. Every fire fighter should individually decide which level of protection is right for him and his personal situation, while taking into consideration, the fit and mobility achievable when wearing the vests.

    Regardless of the level of protection, it is paramount that the armor fits correctly. The carrier should not be too long, too loose or too tight as all of these can leave the wearer exposed to threats and/or obstruct his or her movement. The armor should supplement a fire fighter’s standard uniform, allowing them to fulfil comfortably their working responsibilities.

    Another significant benefit of body armor for fire service personnel is heat resistance. Newly developed materials and technologies allow for optimum comfortable temperature for the vest wearer in all conditions and temperatures. CoolMax vests have been specifically produced in order to protect from bullets and blades, using the latest technology to ensure all of our customers are fully protected and safe. With both heat transfer and retention abilities, these vests will adapt against any weather conditions, ensuing that the wearer feels cooler or warmer in order to maximize comfort in all situations.

    Fire Departments looking to acquire body armor for their personnel should look at products that have undergone testing following the test procedures contained in the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) document, “Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor, NIJ Standard–0101.06.”

    This is a minimum performance standard developed in collaboration with the Office of Law Enforcement Standards of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. One of the most commonly used levels by fire fighters is Level II as it provides a good balance between blunt trauma protection, versus cost, and thickness/comfort. Classified as soft armor, it provides the wearer with sufficient protection while remaining comfortable and lightweight – the perfect combination for the grueling line of work of fire fighters.

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  • This most recent ambush and pre-planned attacks on law enforcement officers across the United States really display the lack of adequate body armor being actively worn or even available to the uniformed Patrol Officers. The subsequent civil unrest that ensued in several large cities across various states became a catalyst event as the pre-planned attacks seem to be on the rise. All of these attacks are being carried out by a variety of protestors armed with a variety of long guns that pose a challenge to the current "standard issued" concealable armored vest IIA police officers are equipped with. Being outgunned and out protected by the suspects they face is turning into a serious problem - one that is not acceptable anymore in Law Enforcement.

    The latest increase in police shooting incidents has led to police departments across the States to budget in upgrades and updates of the body armor used from the standard issued IIA to IIIA. The latter providing the highest blunt trauma protection rating in soft body armor and the best for very high-risk situations involving uncommon or unusual threats.

    Police departments are also approving additional funding toward the upgrade to be used to purchase Kevlar helmets and body armor for officers. Regional government bodies are considering the addition of ceramic plates that would be inserted into the existing fabric armor and be able to stop handgun bullets. Law enforcement officers will be required to wear the fabric armor regularly and fit the ceramic plates in high-risk situations such as riots.

    Several mayors have already filed legislation to draw money from their reserve funds to acquire “ballistic plates and vests to protect officers against assault-type rifle fire that their current equipment can’t stop” as well as ballistic helmets and non-ballistic face shields.

    While it is up to local police department or agencies to dictate what ballistic threat level officers need to wear on duty, it is becoming a topic of national debate whether body armor should be focused on torso coverage when issued or purchasing custom-sized vests.

    Law enforcement agencies around the world remain the biggest market for riot control systems. With the market expected to generate revenues of over USD 3.5 billion by the end of 2020, law enforcement in the US has started procuring riot control equipment of a higher protection level. Moreover, special vehicles that are equipped with water cannon and reservoirs have been designed for use in areas of conflict to handle large crowds and protests. Demand for such equipment is expected to rise during the next few years in the light of recent violent demonstrations in Baltimore and Dallas.

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  • Military members have a very difficult and dangerous job. They have to go into the line of battle and need to be sure that they have the best protection possible. Many advancements have been made when it comes to the body armor that the military uses, but a call for more improvements to be made arose recently.

    More Agility While Wearing Military Body Armor

    The military has requested for manufacturers to attempt to create body armor that is even lighter than the body armor that is already offered to soldiers. The lighter body armor would give soldiers the ability to better tackle situations hat require them to run quickly or move in a stealth fashion. The armor that is available today can be quite heavy and cumbersome. It can make it difficult to move quickly because of its weight and often causes soldiers to become overheated because of the poor circulation.

    Spectra Body Armor

    Honeywell is one body armor manufacturer who has listened to the plea. They have developed the Spectra Shield II. The Spectra Shield II is able to absorb two to six times the amount of energy as other body armor on the market. It is lighter weight and can be used for helmets, on vehicles, and even in body armor plates.

    DuPont Kevlar Body Armor

    DuPont also has weight in mind and offers Kevlar XP. This material is projected to be used in protective helmets. The helmets that are used today are heavy and can put a lot of strain on the neck. The helmets made using Kevlar XP will be 20% lighter than helmets that are currently being used. This will decrease the weight of the helmets by roughly half of a pound. That is significant, when you consider the impact that a heavy helmet has on the neck and shoulders. A light helmet will make it easier to maneuver in high stress situations.

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  • NEW YORK — Wondering if the modern body armor used by our national police force is actually making a difference? Statistics from this past year show that the number of U.S. law enforcement officers killed on duty hasmade a drastic decline. Policing experts report that this is the result of more law enforcers wearing body armor while on active duty. And this goes for law enforcement professionals on all levels in the United States.

    The F.B.I. has made an integral impact on safety awareness in their own right.In 2012, there were actually 48 law enforcement officers that were killed while on duty, which is down from 72 in 2011. At about a 33% decrease this is a great improvement.While statistics show that there were firearms used in the majority of these attacks, body armor was a factor in nearly all of these happenings.

    "There's been a sea change in the thinking on body armor at the state and federal level,” said Chuck Wexler, Executive Director of the Police Executive Research Forum.

    Police departments that collected particular federal grants were mandated by the U.S. Department of Justice to utilize more body armor in 2011. This was a role call for virtually all law enforcement departments on the federal level across the U.S., as 92 percent of them made them a prerequisite for active officers by the end of 2012 (this is a large leap from a meager 59 percent of federal departments in the year 2009.) The use of body armor has continued to make an impact this year as well.

    "In this case, policy made a difference," Wexler said.

    Chuck Wexler, who has held his prominent position since 1993, leads an entire staff involved in policing research, consulting for police agencies and management studies. Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) is in large part the only hope for major cities facing difficulties with policing.

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  • There’s never complete safety for first responders in Asbury Park.  Robert Fahnholz, the president of International Association of Fire Fighters Local 384, thinks that bulletproof armour for firefighters should be considered.

    “Everyone has to sit down and discuss the best options for city firefighters. Obviously the best thing is to stop the shooting,” he said.

    City firefighters are growing increasingly worried as the violence continues to serge out of control. It’s not just the lives of fellow firefighters that are at stake, but its harmless patience that are out there as well.

    “They know the drill. It’s nothing new to them. But what could happen is in the back of your mind. It is a concern for them,” said Fahnholz, who was on duty on a day when a shooting call came in to the firehouse. These occurrences have altered the way that the first responders work.

    “Our chief goes out on shooting calls so there is someone to look over their shoulder while they are treating the patient. They’re all professionals. We all know how to treat as quickly as possible and get out of the area. Scoop it up — and run,” he said.

    There are two ambulances that are staffed 24/7, reports Fire Chief Kevin Keddy. There are firefighters with ambulances on each scene to rush any potentially injured civilians. The first responder’s crew got a shooting call a few days ago and arrived on Mattison Avenue shortly after. MONOC paramedics were also on the scene.Typically our protocol restricts us from going into the hot zone until the scene is secure—which means police are there,” Keddy said.

    The fact that these bullet proof vests have to be specially fitted, they will cost as much as $2500. Forty of them are needed, so the price tag for this could get expensive. Keddy wants to make this happen as soon as possible.

    “Obviously we don’t want to put a price on someone’s safety like that. I’d be all for that, especially in the wake of the shootings, because this year it’s been excessive,” he said.

    While 8 of the 17 murders in Monmouth County in 2006 took place in Asbury Park, and 7 of the county's 14 murders in 2007, by 2008 there was only one murder in Asbury Park and five in the whole county. The city's police had added 19 officers since 2003 and expanded its street crime unit. After a spike in gang violence, violent crime had decreased by almost 20% from 2006 to 2008.

    As of August 26, 2013, Asbury Park has had 6 homicides; there have also been 17 people non-fatally injured in shooting incidents.

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