LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The next time you see one of the Lubbock Fire Rescue crews, they may look a little different. These first responders will now be wearing protective body armor when responding to calls.
For the last four years, four LFR crews have been outfitted with protective vests doing a wear test before implementing these vests to all crews.
Now, those vests are on all trucks.
This comes from an increase in violence nationwide that has many organizations wanting more safety for first responders.
"The International Association of Fire Fighters and International Association of Fire Chiefs are really backing this to try and get more safety for our first responders," said Captain Kevin Ivy.
These vests are made with ballistic material and will protect all vital organs.
There will be scenarios where LFR crews will be required to wear the vests. But first responders can wear the armor any time they feel fit.
Ivy says there hasn't been a situation in Lubbock where fire fighters were put in a dangerous situation, but the harsh reality is, there is a first time for everything and LFR wants to take the necessary steps to be prepared.
"For the amount of money that it cost for these, it was minimum as to what would happen if one our personnel did get hurt," said Ivy.
Each truck will have five protective vests and Ivy says the armor has helped give the fire fighters a better sense of protection.
All vests will be marked with Lubbock Fire Rescue.
LFR said residents don't need to be alarmed when a firefighter is seen wearing protective body armor.