Cleveland EMS crews ordered to wear bulletproof vests at all times: I-Team

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CLEVELAND-- Call 9-1-1 in Cleveland, paramedics will show up wearing bulletproof vests. And Fox 8 has learned, Cleveland firefighters will soon be getting vests too.

The FOX 8 I TEAM first reported Wednesday morning that Cleveland EMS units received an order last month to wear body armor on all calls.

The acting head of EMS says there was no specific incident that led to this-- just a recognition that these days nationwide even safety forces can be targets.

The EMS union supports the order and is even calling for self-defense training.

Meantime, Cleveland’s safety director confirms the city is moving forward with plans for bulletproof vests for firefighters. Months ago, the I TEAM broke the story of how the firefighter’s union wanted the body armor to help protect crews going into dangerous situations. Now the safety director says the plan is to buy 4 tactical vests for each fire truck or company. Then, possibly more later. The city will use grant money, and the goal is to have that equipment before the Republican National Convention this summer.

While the city says Cleveland EMS crews have not been shot at recently, we have covered incidents of shots fired into police cars and fire stations.