Why Police, Fire, and EMS all Need to Think About Body Armor
First responders today perform a multitude of functions from saving lives when criminals strike to emergency medical crises. The idea of first responders as a unified profession operating in disparate departments became ensconced in our national consciousness after the terror attacks on September 11, 2001. We lost many heroes – police, firefighters, EMTs, and it was driven home that we are all brothers and sisters who risk – and sometimes sacrifice – our lives for the sake of others. Despite the respect and honor due to first responders, there are some who see the tragedies to which we are called as an opportunity for deadly violence. And despite the knowledge and understanding of the risks, emergency personnel perform dutifully. However, it is unlikely that gunfire from a deranged individual was a risk to which a firefighter gave much thought when taking on the job. Yet, in today’s world, it is – sadly and frighteningly – a factor which all first responders from every sector of public safety need to consider. In the rural town of Webster, New York – just outside the city of Rochester, an ex-con set fire to a home and then lay in wait. When first responders arrived, he began shooting them using an arsenal of weapons. Two firefighters and a police officer were injured. Sadly, two other firefighters were killed.

Many disgruntled or deranged people see all first responders as a threat. Every year, we learn of incidents where police officers, firefighters, and EMT personnel are randomly assaulted.  Their duties often take them into violent hot zones or even active crime scenes to put out fires or render first aid. Oftentimes a dangerous criminal may still be at large, or even unbeknownst to police, still on scene waiting to do harm or escape capture at any cost. 
We used to think of protective body armor as being necessary equipment only for police officers. Then, we progressed to heavier, more protective body armor. Today, we are forced to expand our views once again. This time to include all first responders. Body armor should be as much a part of the inventory of necessary equipment for firefighters and EMTs as is medical equipment or a halligan. EMTs, firefighters, and other first responders are all now facing danger in the environments in which they operate. They need improved protection and this means body armor specially designed to fit the functions for which they are called upon to perform as first responders.

At HighCom, we manufacture five plate carriers designed specifically for first responders beyond law enforcement, for people whose function is not combat but who may – during the course of saving lives – come under fire. All five of our first responder plate carriers (Trooper CAP-RescueTrooper BPC-RescueTrooper TFO-RescueTrooper ACAP-RescueTrooper APC-Rescue) are made of Cordura nylon and have the option to be 
fire retardant. They have pockets for plates ranging from 8×10 through 10×12. These plate carriers are produced in a variety of colors (black, blue, red and tan) to match the uniform and visibility needs of every possible first responder scenario.
First Responder Body Armor Vests Our first and most important concern is to ensure that those who wear our products go home safe at the end of their shift, every time. We have put every bit of our decades of experience, knowledge, and research into creating the best possible protective body armor for everyone who chooses HighCom products. In doing so, we are fulfilling the mission we set for ourselves 20 years ago: to constantly push the envelope in technology, innovation, creativity, and quality when it comes to designing and manufacturing products which protect and save lives. Fire departments and those in charge of emergency services can be assured that with HighCom products, they will be equipping their personnel with the greatest protection. HighCom regularly exceeds all industry standards. Those who end up wearing our products can do so knowing that they will not have to give a second thought to the protection HighCom Plate Carriers provides against those who would harm America’s heroes.

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