Iona McGregor Fire District upgrades its gear to better protect you

Reporter: Sydney Persing
Published: Updated:
Firefighter wears a bullet proof vest. (Credit: WINK News)
Firefighter wears a bullet proof vest. (Credit: WINK News)

It is not just protective gear and gloves anymore. Firefighters are changing their wardrobe following recent reports of shootings and threats. It is all to protect you better.

Most of us imagine fire gear as boots, jackets and helmets. However, the role of the fire services continues to evolve and change, which means their equipment must do the same.

Bulletproof vests and helmets will soon be in each truck at the Iona McGregor Fire Protection and Rescue District because firefighters do more than fight fires.

Seth Comer, assistant fire chief at Iona McGregor Fire District, said he never thought he would see the day when firefighters have ballistic gear.

“Consider ourselves an all-hazards organization,” Comer said. “We have technical rescue teams, hazardous materials response, water rescue, much more than putting on fire gear and going into a burning building.”

Moreover, that list is expanding, now including responding to mass shootings. The growing tasks create the need to protect firefighters on the front lines in our communities better.

“We’re here for you,” Comer said. “We are here for you. We are going to come help you. Were going to do that safely and quickly as possible.”

“We’re concerned that we are even having to be in this position,” he added, “but it’s the reality of the world.”

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