Wilmington Fire Department requests funding for bullet proof vests


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Wilmington Fire Department is trying to add another layer of protection for its firefighters. The department is asking Wilmington City Council for money to buy bullet proof vests.

The fire department is asking for 63 ballistic vests and helmets to have enough for each member on its 15 front line units.

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A WFD spokeswoman says firefighters would wear the vests over their gear mainly in high-threat active shooter situations.

She says the department developed a multi-agency high-threat response plan several years ago with other Wilmington and New Hanover County emergency response agencies. The other agencies each have bullet-proof vests for their responders, so she says this would help put the fire department on the same level.

WFD is asking city council for around $12,000 in funding. They say the total cost of the gear is around $40,000.

The department says the use of the vests and helmets for other calls will be considered once the vests arrive.