The Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore and donors recently granted $73,000 to the Salisbury Fire Department to fund ballistic vests needed to protect paramedics and fire fighters who are exposed to risk as they provide life-saving support to the community. Additional funding is still needed to meet the estimated $90,000 needed to outfit department personnel.
The ballistic vests will help protect paramedics and fire fighters during active shooting events, domestic violence incidents, crisis intervention scenarios, and other dangerous situations. The need for vests became increasingly apparent after recent violent incidents in Salisbury where paramedics had to be shielded by police to reach victims with lifesaving treatment.
“Over the course of several months, our personnel have been placed in harm’s way while treating injured civilians,” states Salisbury Fire Department Chief John Tull. “With personnel unprotected, we have had to retreat back to Fire/EMS units due to large crowds and unruly individuals, ultimately delaying treatment for victims.”
The grant came from the following funds held at the Community Foundation: M.W. & Barrie Tilghman, Jr. Fund, Jim & Jan Perdue Fund, Tony & Donna Gilkerson Fund, Bobbi Biron Fund for Wicomico County, Richard & Patricia Hazel Fund, First Shore Federal Savings & Loan Association Fund, and Perdue Family Fund. An additional gift was made by the Perdue Family Charitable Trust.
To learn more about the need or to contribute to ballistic vest funding, please contact the Salisbury Fire Department at 410-548-3120.