SEATTLE - Seattle firefighters say they are responding to more and more scenes of violence, but because of safety concerns, they are sometimes kept back from entering the scene.
It happened during recent shootings in the CHOP protest zone on Capitol Hill when firefighters were held back from going into the zone to treat people because it wasn’t deemed safe.
In the last year, a group of folks in the northwest formed the Seattle Fire Foundation to raise money to get firefighters the safety gear they need, like bulletproof vests and helmets.
“Everyone understands that the current situation in Seattle is not safe for the firefighters to do their job,” said Nancy Senseney, chairwoman of the Seattle Fire Foundation. “We need to protect them so they can protect us when we have a fire or a medical emergency.”
There is also new guidance from the National Fire Protection Association that says firefighters, because they are responding to active shooters and other dangerous situations, need better protective gear.
Often cities and towns don’t have it in the budget to buy that kind of gear, and Senseney says that’s the case in Seattle.
“The city budget is not able to meet all the needs and we can respond faster than the city can. Times are changing quickly and budget approvals are something that take time and firefighters don’t have that kind of time right now so we can help them when they need it most.”
The foundation has already raised enough money to purchase 60 bulletproof vests, but they say they need a lot more.
The new goal is to raise $135,000 by Labor Day. Click here for more information.