The Central Oneida County Volunteer Ambulance Company recently purchased 10 ballistic vests for their EMT's to wear on calls involving violent or unstable situations.

Officials say as the number of incidents involving violence against first responders increase, EMS agencies across the country are evaluating safety procedures and providing additional protective equipment.

“Although, we try to ensure the safety of everyone, from the side of busy roads to unknown medical issues and potentially dangerous patients, the truth is our providers cannot remove themselves completely from harm’s way,” said Chief of EMS, Steven Dziura.  Combined with the tools and training that COCVAC members receive, it is hoped that these vests will reduce some of that risk that COCVAC’s EMT’s face.

COVAC bought the vests from a local manufacturer in Rome with funding from its Board of Directors.

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