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Myrtle Beach firefighters receive new ballistic vests

Updated: May. 5, 2021 at 7:26 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The Myrtle Beach Fire Department now has one more tool in its toolbox to help keep its firefighters safe.

The department received new ballistic vests thanks to a federal grant given to Grand Strand Health, who gave the department the vests.

Officials say they’ll come in handy during some situations.

“These are going to be a huge asset to our personnel,” MBFD Chief Tom Gwyer said. “The way the world is ever-evolving, there comes a time where we need to protect our personnel and fire and EMS, and this is going to go a long way to do that and to serve our community when we have these unfortunate events down the road.”

Firefighters will be able to use the vests whenever they feel the need to.

The department has tried to get vests for around 1 ½ years.

“We continuously find ourselves getting in situations where it can be more and more dangerous for our crews,” MBFD Cpt. Jonathan Evans said. “Police, they have the training and the equipment for these kinds of things, but the fire department’s always been one of those areas where we’ve been lacking in that area. So, fortunately, now we have these capabilities to keep our folks safer in case something happens.”

The grant Grand Strand Health received covered the cost of 40 total vests.

Not all of them have made their way to the fire department just yet, but all will be on fire trucks ready for use starting Friday.

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