Body Armor

JT25

Forum Probie
19
2
3
How do you feel about EMS providers wearing body armor. If you wear it is it required or choice. Does it "interfere" with job performance. If this topic has already been discussed please excuse me.
 

StCEMT

Forum Deputy Chief
3,015
1,688
113
We are allowed to, but you gotta get it yourself and from what I remember you have to wear it the entire shift if you do. I think our policy on it is stupid, but I don't get paid to make choices.

If you want it, wear it. If not, don't.

We run shootings on a regular basis and I've never felt the need for one. However, the riots that went on in STL when I lived there might have gotten me to wear one if something like that happened while I am on the street. They we're kept on the trucks in case something happened and they were needed.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
5,956
1,883
113
If it saves one life, than hasn't it paid for itself?

I've never worked for an agency that issued body armor; some places allowed you to wear your own, but it's not cheap, and it's treated like underwear, so you shouldn't be sharing with others.

Personally, if my agency provided it to me, I would wear it every shift, under my uniform, every time I worked on the ambulance that worked in the 911 system.

I do know agencies that mandate it's use year round, in the summer and winter months, and they have no issues doing the job. But yes, it does get hot in the summer.
 

KingCountyMedic

Forum Lieutenant
231
127
43
We have it. A body armor tailor comes in and everyone is custom fitted for it. It is required to be with you at all times and must be inspected quarterly. All calls involving assault with weapons requires it to be worn at all times. It's a pain to wear but doesn't get in the way really. I usually put my bunker coat on over it so I don't look "tactical"
 

DesertMedic66

Forum Troll
11,121
3,341
113
We have it. A body armor tailor comes in and everyone is custom fitted for it. It is required to be with you at all times and must be inspected quarterly. All calls involving assault with weapons requires it to be worn at all times. It's a pain to wear but doesn't get in the way really. I usually put my bunker coat on over it so I don't look "tactical"
But then you look like a firefighter which one might argue is worse haha
 

GMCmedic

Forum Deputy Chief
1,640
1,055
113
I had some personal armor after a few incidents with our dispatch. I carried it in the truck but only put it on a handful of times.
 

CANMAN

Forum Asst. Chief
805
424
63
We have two plate carriers on the medic at my FD job. Wear it if you want, don't if you don't.
 

Akulahawk

EMT-P/ED RN
Community Leader
4,778
1,162
113
Where I have worked, I've never had body armor. Not that I didn't want it at times, but I've only rarely been anywhere near a position that I would have needed to use the armor. All that aside, if you decide that you need to wear body armor, you have to make basically 3 choices.
  1. Ballistic Threat level
  2. Stab Protection
  3. Concealable or External carrier
With Ballistic Threat level, you basically need to decide what ballistic threat you're likely to face. Handguns are the most common ballistic threat. Tailor the vest to your most likely threat. A vest may not be rated for a given caliber, but may stop it with excessive blunt trauma. Rifle rounds won't notice the vest. Stab protection is also a yes/no and a level decision if "yes." There aren't many vests that also have stab protection, but if that's a significant concern, consider it. Once you've decided the protection level you want, then you need to decide how to wear it. Concealable armor is worn under your uniform and you'll wear it all day long. External carriers are "nice" in that you can don/doff them as the need arises. If the external carrier is made to mimic your uniform shirt, it might not be noticed until you're very close to someone. External carriers also have an advantage in that you can use rifle rated panels with them. Either way you will become hot.
 

medichopeful

Flight RN/Paramedic
1,863
255
83
I don't think that it should be required to wear, but I do believe that employers should provide it for those who want it if there is a reasonable chance it may be needed or utilized (in other words, for 911 services/services that do LE standbys. I don't think services that do strictly IFT should be required to provide it).

At my service (private, not-for-profit, 911 only with the occasional sports standby, basically a 3rd service without technically being a municipal agency), there are vests that providers can sign out at the start of shift should they want them. If people want to purchase their own, they will help get you a discount. We're also issued extrication gear, extrication helmet, and a traffic vest, which are required to be on the ambulance with us at all times. I keep my vest with all of that in a gear bag, so I can access it if needed (SWAT standbys, shootings, etc). It's a little uncomfortable to wear, but doesn't really get in the way.
 

Tigger

Dodges Pucks
Community Leader
7,638
2,598
113
We have it available on the engines and battalion chief ride for "rescue task force" operations, but no one here wears it otherwise. In the community we're in, it just doesn't seem to make that much sense.

My last full time job was in the sticks where everyone had guns...and no one wore body armor there either. It's just not part of the EMS culture here as far as I can tell.
 

Ensihoitaja

Forum Captain
367
125
43
We provide external vests with rifle plates for every provider to be worn when needed. I would estimate about 40% or so also wear concealable armor, but that’s at your own discretion. We do have a loan program for people to buy armor up front and repay it through payroll deductions.
 
OP
OP
JT25

JT25

Forum Probie
19
2
3
Thanks to all for the info. I appreciate your time.
 
Top