A grant application from 2019 has led to the Cole County EMS staff being equipped with ballistic vests.
"We wrote a grant to Firehouse Subs (Public Safety Foundation) and in the process we had to explain how the equipment would be used and the need for it," Deputy Chief David Boyles said.
Upon news of receiving the grant and the approval of its use by the Cole County Commission, the service ordered 58 ballistic plate carriers from Spartan Armor Systems at a cost of $13,915.
"We want people to know that when Firehouse says they give back to the community, they are serious," Boyles said. "Without that grant, we probably wouldn't have gotten these vests because unfortunately we don't always put in our budgets money for some of this equipment that we should have."
The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation was founded in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to help provide first responders with equipment, provide scholarships and continued education for those pursing a career in public safety along with providing assistance to those affected by natural and man-made disasters.