Middle Tennessee firefighters get tactical gear for active, ambush shooting situations

FOX 17 News

When a call came in of an active shooter at Opry Mills Mall earlier this year, Nashville Fire department medics who responded were wearing tactical gear -- ballistic vests and helmets.

Fortunately, firefighters did not need them.

Three months ago, the La Vergne Fire Department issued similar tactical gear for its firefighters and medics -- not only for active shooter situations -- but domestic and ambush situations as well.

“We've seen the growth in violence on our responses of anything from an active shooter to an individual that may be violent, our communities surrounding Davidson County and in Middle Tennessee are preparing their departments as well for this type of response, “ Asst. Fire Chief Chris Clark said.

Commander Marcus Harney says the tactical gear had been awarded to the fire department through a grant from the Department of Homeland Security.

“We actually here in La Vergne have a committee set up along with the La Vergne Police Department to help better prepare us for active shooter situation, “ Harney said. “I've been doing this for 18 years and I never thought I'd see the day that us fireman would be wearing ballistic vests and helmets, but in today's society you have to be prepared and ready for anything that comes our way."

Wilson County and the City of Brentwood is also taking similar steps for their respective fire departments, as more departments around the country are going to new levels of protection for the men and women who fight fires and respond during emergencies.

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