Body armor is not always considered necessary for those working in the Emergency Medical Services, and yet the sad fact is that these individuals may need protection against attacks that can cause physical and psychological harm. Protection is very easily available in the form of body armor, and even if an attack is a rare occurrence, wearing body armor is a simple way of potentially saving a life.
Bulletproof vests may be necessary to protect paramedics and EMTs, as there are reports of the EMS being attacked with firearms. However, the most common weapon these men and women will face is likely edged weapons, as knives and broken bottles, for example, are readily accessible. EMS is called on to deal with people injured, possibly intoxicated, and perhaps confused and hostile. These individuals may harbor no malice towards those trying to help them, but injuries remain a possibility. As accidental injury makes up the bulk of threats to the EMS, weapons will likely take the form of anything to hand, usually edged or spiked weapons. This is why a stab and spike-proof vest is ideal.
Unlike our bullet-resistant vest, our stab-proof vests utilize Kevlar® lined with either chain mail or laminate to stop edged weapons from cutting the protective fibers. However, if an attacker has a needle or an ice pick, for example, any vest without laminate will not protect properly, as a spiked weapon will pass through protective fibers and chain mail. Laminate lines protective layers with tough yet thin plastic, preventing stab and spike weapons from penetrating. Our vests meet the testing standards of several international institutions, so Paramedics and Ambulance Crews can guarantee their safety.
In addition to choosing the appropriate type and level of bullet or stab-resistant vest, Paramedics and EMTs will need to decide on how to wear their protective clothing. Vests are available in both covert and overt styles, being worn underneath and over clothing respectively. While vests get thicker and heavier as they offer increased protection, our covert vests remain light and thin enough to be worn comfortably and discreetly under a uniform. Some in the EMS may feel that displaying body armor may antagonize people who are already confrontational and highlight Paramedics and EMTs as potential targets. Equally, some feel that wearing protective clothing may deter attackers, and will highlight the EMS as non-threatening yet authoritative figures. This can be further helped by our Gore-Tex carriers, which have high-visibility strips and clips for radios, for example, all of which make an overt vest ideal for paramedics.