Taney County Ambulance District paramedics wear bulletproof vests, ready for active shooter situations

Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 4:32 PM CDT
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TANEY COUNTY, Mo. (KY3) - Paramedics and police in several Missouri towns are looking at their school shooting procedures in the wake of the Nashville school shooting.

On Monday, communities like Springfield, Ozark, and Branson tested responses to someone making fake 911 calls claiming shootings at schools there. The Taney County Ambulance District is one of those agencies. Paramedics there say they have equipment that will help them respond quickly if anything happens.

They have bulletproof vests that stop handgun rounds. They put bulletproof plates in the vests to stop rifle rounds. Every paramedic at Taney County Ambulance District has one. They are specifically personalized for each person.

Taney County paramedic Johnathan Tudor said it gives them a better feeling to go into any situation.

“We’re prepared to go into the hostile event before it’s secured,” said Tudor.

Suiting up for any situation is how the Taney County Ambulance District prepares.

”We treat every event as it’s real, whether it’s a hoax or not until proven otherwise, we assume it’s real,” said Tudor.

Tudor said every paramedic has a personalized bulletproof vest and plates.

”We can get in there potentially before the shooting is even stopped,” said Tudor.

Tudor said they use them on calls now.

”There are some calls that we will wear them on no matter what if we’re going to a shooting, a stabbing, something like that,” said Tudor.

They also have individual response kits with tourniquets and other bleeding control devices. So instead of hauling in a lot of gear, they can quickly put these on and go into a building.

”People bleed out and die waiting for the paramedics to get there. We don’t want that to happen,” said Tudor. “They’re not going to wait. We’re coming in.”

After a fake school shooting call in Branson, their staff did an after-action review. They say while it was a hoax, it was an excellent opportunity to test their response and procedures.

”We put a lot of time and effort into preparation training,” said Tudor.

The vests cost $750. The district paid for them. Tudor said the vests give an extra line of defense.

“Show our employees that the organization truly does care and wants us to be safe and wants us to have every piece of equipment possible to be safe,” said Tudor.

Tudor said some paramedics applied here because of these vests. They want every paramedic in the area to have them.

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