DURANT, Okla. (KXII) After raising money for months, the order of 30 bullet proof vests arrived to Bryan County EMS last week.
It started back in October with six bullet proof vests thanks to a state grant. Then, Bryan County EMS set their eyes on an even bigger goal. A personal vest for every first responder.
"I think you always run the risk of not only putting your life on the line because of certain situations but you also run the risk because of a target in the day and age we live in today," Pastor Zach Backues of Victory Life Church's Durant Campus said.
Backues said they donated to the cause from the ministry's operational budget.
"To give back into the community and know that we're all in this together to make our communities a safer place a better place for us and for our kids,” Backues said.
Bryan County EMS held a fundraiser at Exploration Outfitters back in November, along with Gun Nutz, who helped the Bryan County Sheriff's Office get their updated vests last month, and Jack Attack Barbecue in Kingston.
With the help of those and numerous other donors, Bryan County EMS was able to raise $8000, and purchase 30 vests- one for every medic in Bryan County.
"You know depending on the type of call and their comfort level they have the vest right there with them,” Deputy Director Brian Norton said.
“The preventative measures that they need to feel safe while they’re putting their life on the line to be able to care for the lives of others,” Backues said.
Norton told News12 they respond to every kind of situation, and the new vests will not only provide them with more protection, but more peace of mind to law enforcement as well, with one less thing to worry about.
"Shooting events,” Norton said. “Domestics. There's a lot of domestics that have stabbings and shootings or things of that nature and we're right there in the middle of it too."
Norton thanked everyone who helped keep them safer on the job.
“They gave us so much,” Norton said. “And did so much to keep us protected and keep us safe.”
In addition to the vests, Norton said Bryan County medics have been working with local law enforcement to get active shooter training throughout the year.