- Associated Press - Monday, March 20, 2017

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A federal grant will provide bulletproof vests for emergency responders in eight southeastern South Dakota counties.

The idea for the vests came from a Hartford Consensus Compendium report aimed at improving survival in active shooter and mass casualty events, the Argus Leader (https://argusne.ws/2nJUnY2 ) reported.

“The world is changing and we have different emerging threats,” said Minnehaha County emergency manager Lynn DeYoung. “This not the first evolution in protecting first responders, and it won’t be the last.”

Emergency responders have dealt with two high-profile shooting cases in the area recent years. In 2015, emergency responders were at Sioux Steel in Lennox where there was a fatal workplace shooting. That same year, a Harrisburg High School student was arrested after shooting his principal.

DeYoung said the idea for the vests came from a Hartford Consensus Compendium report. The report is aimed at improving survival in active-shooter and mass-casualty events.

Med-Star Paramedic Ambulance owner Jay Masur isn’t convinced the vests are needed. He said the changing dangers affecting emergencies aren’t happening in Sioux Falls, but rather in larger cities nationwide. He thinks local incidents that call for bulletproof vests will be few.

“I think it’s great they are putting money into us,” Masur said. “There is a lot of emphasis that times are changing and these vests will make a difference, but I don’t think we need them.”

The counties receiving the bulletproof vests through a Homeland Security grant are Minnehaha, Lincoln, Union, Clay, McCook, Turner, Moody and Lake.

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Information from: Argus Leader, https://www.argusleader.com


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