Preparedness

Lower Valley, Pa., Ambulance Crews to Wear Bulletproof Vests When Responding to Calls

The ambulance service will use the donation of nearly $15,000 to buy bulletproof vests for each of its full-time employees and additional vests for part-timers.

by Emily Balser, The Tribune-Review / August 29, 2018

(TNS) — Lower Valley Ambulance Service is hoping to improve protection for its first-responders using a donation from Springdale Energy.

The service will use the donation of nearly $15,000 to buy bulletproof vests for each of its full-time employees and additional vests for part-timers.

“There’s just been some concern with the environment surrounding public safety,” said Aaron Butler, general manager. “We just want to make sure everybody’s safe.”

Lower Valley provides service for residents of Harmar, Cheswick, Springdale and Springdale Township, Oakmont, Verona and a part of Indiana Township.

Butler said an ambulance can often be the first emergency responder on the scene, which could be dangerous in situations such as domestic violence calls or drug overdoses.

“We just don’t know what were walking into on those scenes,” he said.

Kelley Pierce, business manager with Springdale Energy, said the company is trying to be active in the community and support neighboring organizations. Springdale Energy is a gas-fired power plant formerly owned by First Energy.

“We wanted to do some joint training with them,” she said. “We wanted to make a donation to them for some equipment.”

The donation was made in July, and the ambulance service hopes to have the vests in the next few weeks.

Butler said all full-time employees were fitted to have the vests customized for them. No training is required.

The service is working to update its policies to reflect the requirement to wear the vests.

“We’re hoping by the end of September these are on the trucks and up and running,” he said.

Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Emily at 724-226-4680, emilybalser@tribweb.com or via Twitter @emilybalser.

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