Akron Fire Department workers are now wearing ballistic vests and helmets as they respond to violent or potentially violent incidents, including active shooter events.
Four sets of gear will go in each Akron medical unit and used whenever a first responder wants the added protection.
EMS Bureau Manager District Chief, Joe Natko said, it's been a work in progress.
Akron is only the fifth agency in Ohio to get ballistic gear. The 55 vests and helmets were purchased using funds from Issue 4 and cost about $50,000.
The agency received a $29,000 grant from the Northern Ohio Gold Charities.
"We opted to buy the best vests we could. we spent quite a bit of money on the vests and the helmets and we didn't cut any corners," he said.
They've already put them to work. Last weekend when 2 teens were shot after a party, first responders wore the new gear.
The goal is to protect personnel at all times and these new vests and helmets are just extra insurance.
"This gives us that extra, extra little edge, gets them a little sooner into a situation where they can help somebody," said Chief Natko.