What are the standards implemented by the National Institute of Justice?
Why body armor?
Why body armor?
Firearms have shown to be a threat to a lot of lives all around the world, including the United States. Body armor has come into play, safeguarding the life of a lot of people, for at least the last three decades. The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene conducted a study, where they compared officers that wore body armor daily to those who did not. Results showed how officers who do not wear body armor as a routine are 3.4 times more likely to be fatally injured from a torso shot than those officers who do wear protection. Law enforcement and correction officers have relied, and continue to do so, on the protection provided by bulletproof vests. But how do they choose the right protection? The answer is by following the NIJ standards.
What does NIJ stand for?
Not everyone’s armor is made to shield the same impact, reason why there are various levels of protection that need to be taken into consideration. Therefore, when choosing the right body armor, it is essential to ensure that it adheres to the protection level you need. The best way to get an accurate estimate is by following certain common standards. Even though there are several standards set by different departments, the most widely used guidelines are those set by the National Institute of Justice, recognized as one of the world leaders at standardizing body protection. The NIJ standard is the only one that is nationally accepted for the body armor worn by law enforcement, which proves why it is the most reliable and used measurement. When handling body armor, the NIJ has three specific tasks, the first one being the establishment and update of voluntary minimum performance guidelines for the body armor. Secondly, they are to conduct testing against those standards to make sure that the body armor in question meets those guidelines. The other major task the NIJ is responsible for is sponsoring research with the ultimate goal of improving body armor in general, since technology and new discoveries are constantly improving and growing.
What is the standard used now?
The NIJ Standard-0101.06, Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor was released on July of 2008 by the National Institute of Justice. The “.06” standard is responsible for setting the minimum performance requirements and examination methods for the ballistic resistance of personal body armor meant to shield impacts directed at the torso. Something to take into consideration is that the fact that this new standard has been imposed does not mean that the body armor models that comply with the .04 standards are invalidated. However, it is recommended to follow the new standard rather than the old one. Also, the NIJ Standard-0101.06 requires more rigorous testing of ballistic armor.
What does NIJ level I protection include?
The first level of the National Institute of Justice is NIJ Level I, which is the most basic level of protection. This armor protects against .22 caliber Long Rifle Lead Round Nose (LR LRN) bullets with nominal masses of 2.6 g (40 gr) impacting at a velocity of at least 320 m/s (1050 ft./s). It also protects against 380 ACP Full Metal Jacketed Round Nose (FMJ RN) bullets with nominal masses of 6.2 g (95 gr) with a velocity impact of 312 m/s (1025 ft./s) or less. In more general terms, this level of body armor protection shields against the impact of small handguns only.
What does NIJ level IIA protection include?
The second level of protection, NIJ Level IIA is a little more complete than the first one in the sense that it not only protects against small handguns but also against low velocity handguns as well. This type of body armor protects against 9mm Full Metal Jacketed Round Nose (FMJ RN) bullets with nominal masses of 8.0 g (124 gr) at a minimum velocity of 332 m/s (1090 ft./s) and .40 S&W caliber Full Metal Jacketed (FMJ) bullets with nominal masses of 11.7 g (180 gr) at a minimum velocity of 312 m/s (1025 ft./s) or less. Additionally, it protects against Level I threats as well. NIJ Level II protection is usually required by police departments and full-time guards.
What does NIJ level II protection include?
The third level is referred to as NIJ Level II because it is basically the same thing as NIJ Level IIA, but with a little more of protection. Instead of just shielding impacts from small handguns and low velocity handguns, it also protects against high velocity handguns. In more specific terms, it shields impacts of .357 Magnum jacketed soft-point bullets with nominal masses of 10.2 g (158 gr.) going at a velocity of 425 m/s (1,395 ft./s) or less and against 9mm full-jacketed bullets with nominal velocities of 358 m/s (1,175 ft./s). It is also great protection against most of the other factory loads in caliber .357 Magnum and 9mm and is assumed that it also protects against the Level I and IIA threats. This type of body armor tends to be heavier and with more bulk than the levels before it. It is usually worn by full time officers.
What does NIJ level IIIA protection include?
The National Institute of Justice provides levels that range from NIJ Level I all the way to NIJ Level III. In between those there is NIJ Level IIIA, which is one of the most commonly sought levels of body armor protection. A person that is looking for a complete protection that can be worn daily usually refers to this level. This armor protects against impacts from a .44 Magnum, semi jacketed hollow point (SJHP) bullets with nominal masses of 15.55 g (240 gr.) impacting at a velocity of 426 m/s (1,400 ft./s) or less, and against 9mm full-metal jacketed bullets with nominal masses of 8.0 g (124 gr.) impacting at a velocity of 426 m/s (1,400 ft./s) or less. NIJ Level IIIA also protects bullets from small handguns, low velocity handguns, high velocity handguns, high powered handguns and sub machine guns.
What does NIJ level III protection include?
After NIJ Level IIIA, the next level of protection is called NIJ Level III. This level protects against impacts from 7.62mm full-metal jacketed bullets (US military designation M80) with nominal masses of 9.7 g (150 gr.) impacting at a velocity of 838 m/s (2,750 ft./s) or less. Also, it provides protection against threats such as 223 Remington (5.56mm FMJ), 30 Carbine FMJ, and 12-gauge rifled slug, as well as Level I through IIIA threats. NIJ Level III is considered one of the best levels, since it protects from a larger range of guns. Specifically, it can receive bullets from small handguns, low velocity handguns, high velocity handguns, high powered handguns, sub machine guns, machine guns, high powered rifles as well as assault rifles.
The Best Body Armor
The Best Body Armor is a company that specializes on providing the highest quality of body armor at the lowest prices. It not only offers body armor that has surpassed the Department of Justice guidelines but that also exceeds National Institute of Justice standards for NIJ IIIA and NIJ III. All the products are assembled and manufactured here in the United States, and come with a 10-year warranty included. Every unit is to be custom made to spec, hand inspected individually, and sold direct from a United States government sanctioned body armor manufacturer. We offer one size vest, since they can be easily adjusted to any body type. All the body armor is tested by independent, government sanctioned weapons labs, and each vest is individually made and inspected for each customer to provide a vest that offers maximum protection against any attack. All the plates are made with a specialized shooter cut to provide the maximum coverage possible while also having enough space for good mobility.
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Personal Protection Over Time
Over the course of history, humankind has been waging war against each other and the victor often credits their successes to advanced technology, weapons, and strategies however one pivotal part that often gets ignored by both sides of any conflict is the defense aspect on the soldiers which eventually passes down to civilians. Since the improvement of armor usually develops conjointly new weaponry, most pieces come around eras with massive leaps in warfare technology or tactics. Civilians often seek the surplus weapons or armor for themselves to ensure protection from governments and each other from the days where houses had swords to the concealed carries of today. Armor and more recently, bullet proof armor has always been made widely available for personal protection in modern society although certain countries such as Australia and most of the EU still prevent the purchase or use of it.
Before body armor, casualties on battlefields were massive and unpreventable due to lack of medical knowledge and blunt brute-force strategies that our tribal ancestors used on each other during the stone age. Although numbers during the skirmishes weren’t very high, the death toll as a percentage took a huge blow to the populations. Near the end of the stone age, the only real protection a person would have from incoming assaults and projectiles were the animal hides they wore and wooden make-shift shields. The good news however was that since the weapons were also undeveloped, the only thing that was of massive danger were blunt objects and arrows near the end.
As the stone age fizzled out thanks to the beginnings of smelting and the creation of the bronze age which meant new technology, new weapons, new armor, and bigger civilizations. Leather Body Armor encompasses the beginning of that age as man had also perfected the curing of leather for many uses from clothing to building materials. People began to use leather hides to make sturdy leather armor for themselves when war came along. This innovation helped stop some deaths from the harder, sharper bronze weapons but they would still be able to cut through any leather armor and shields eventually. Leather armor was the go-to for most of ancient civilization for cheap protection when they hit the battlefield. The feudal Japanese were masters who perfected the art of molding leather armor in layers and scaly patterns that would redirect blows off instead of resist them and was very effective against iron and steel weapons.
As leather began to phase out, a new type of cheap(ish) light armor was developed: chain mail. Chain mail was a thin fabric made of interwoven metal chains that were brought together in a pattern that would prevent slashing blows and arrow attacks from killing the wearer. This innovation proved to be pivotal because when chain mail was combined with a sturdy piece of armor on top or underneath, the person could be relatively protected from most attacks for a few strikes before they would be in trouble.
During the bronze age, heavier and better supplied soldiers donned bulky bronze body armor. This armor reflected similarly to their leather and metal counterparts although they were still fairly inefficient since having fitted metal armor was a very new and weird invention at the time. Most of the people who wore this armor were horse cavalry troops because it allowed them to leg around such weight. Bronze soon became obsolete to wear on the battlefield thanks to the iron age which ushered in even harder, sturdier weapons and armor.
The iron age and steel age brought civilization to its first most modern relatives of super cities, castles, and coliseums. During this long course of history, humankind armed itself with all kinds of different weapons and strategies which are still mimicked and studied today. Great Empires rose and fell with might and sword and a large, silent contributor to that was the armor seen then. Metal armor first saw its hayday with the Greek and Roman Conquests where the Greeks would use large iron shields and long metal pikes to form a spiked phalanx and march toward their enemies. The Romans developed that strategy further by adding metal plated armor: woven together with leather strips to their soldiers and broke the phalanx mass into centuries of 100 for more mobility. Afterward, the struggle of unarmored speed and heavy armored protection waged between medieval kingdoms and the Ottoman Empire and the Hun Hoards. The invention of gunpowder however, made the metal weapons and armors largely obsolete.
For a large period after gunpowder is made and used, body armor fades out to relative antiquity because the metal pieces couldn’t stop bullets well enough to make up for their weight; heavy armies were being out matched by lighter ones because of it. From the early 1600’s until WWI, body armor all but disappears and becomes largely obsolete. The bullet proof/resistant armor we see today comes in large thanks to two major investments from the winning sides of WWI and WWII where the soviets were arming their engineers with steel cuirasses to help with explosions and then realized how it made them nearly invincible in comparison to their peers. The other end of the spectrum, the U.S. forces used flak vests on their soldiers to prevent death from shrapnel and later developed it to stop small caliber bullets both of those new uses brought a light to the idea of body armor being used once again.
Modern body armor today as we know it pays its homage largely to the Vietnam war where troops requested their flak jackets be equipped to handle rounds from their adversaries AK47’s 7.62mm round and because of that need, the first “bullet proof vest” was made and fielded; sadly it didn’t make it in time to actually be used during the Vietnam War. Afterwards, research into stopping bullets showed a promising compromise that protects from bullets; a composite armor that is a mix of soft and hard armor; to increase the impact duration (which reduces damage) and to ultimately stop the bullet altogether.
Thanks to those developments in body armor technology, civilians and soldiers can both buy body armors of different types depending on their needs and preferences. Because of the research conducted post WWII, we now enjoy a wide variety of protection from bullets as well as blunt objects, stabs, and spikes. Today, body armor comes in three main types: Soft, Hard, and Composite; each having their own unique advantages and disadvantages. When buying body armor, make sure to look for certification in NIJ (National Institute of Justice) or OLES (Office of Law Enforcement Standards) to make sure it works well and will actually protect you. (website) provides some of the best armor around with varying levels of NIJ certified protection at a price lower than a new handgun or AR. The plate carriers that come with have all kinds of colors, patterns, and functions to make each vest customizable to your wants and needs. They also just recently released a sleek backpack that can transform into a full vest system in a flash.
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Is it time for EMS and other First Responders to wear bullet proof vest?
Kevlar vests, also known as bulletproof or ballistic vest are worn by Military Soldiers throughout the world to protect themselves from harm and it is not only Soldiers wearing these types of vests anymore now Police Officers worldwide are wearing the Kevlar vest due to the rising number of firearm related death and a rise in homeland terrorism. However, the real questions arise when you look to the other first responders who put themselves in harm’s way such as the EMS. EMS and Firefighters are called to the scene of almost every incident no matter how dangerous and can be put in harm’s way themselves without any protective gear. So, is it not time for the EMS and other first responders to start wearing Kevlar and bulletproofing vest to keep the lives safe as well. EMS and Firefighters are more likely to come into conduct with stabbings from knives and needles then they are to be shot at. But this does not take away the need for the vests or the danger they will face. Kevlar vest today can easily stop a stabbing attack from either a needle or a knife to a specific area. So, it is time to re-evaluate the need for EMS, paramedics, and Firefighters to see if part of their essential life save gear should be a Kevlar or other type of bullet proof vest that they wear in order to save their life so that they may save the lives of other!
There is no guarantee that the attacker will aim for where the vests are protecting. However, the case, when it comes down to it would not you rather have a smaller chance for that attacker to be able to hit your vital organs and mid-section. Along with the knife attacks comes still the threat of the EMS or Firefighters being shot at while attempting to do their job, which just so happened in Selma, Al. in 2016 when 2 EMS were attending to a local call (though it seemed strange when it came through) and were checking a patient’s blood pressure when multiple shots rang out heading towards the EMS workers though luckily neither of the 2 were injured. (Dunigan) Seeing this should put the image in your mind that no one of our First responders are safe and now need body armor and companies like The Best Body Armor are here to provide such needed items. Selling the greatest and latest in the technologies of bulletproof vest exceeding government standard, with NIJ levels up to NIJ 5 you can easily get what you need to keep you and your loved ones safe and out of harm’s way. With products ranging in all different sorts of colors and designs you are sure to find what you are looking for, also looking for trauma pads?! They have them, so whatever you need is and want desires The Best Body Armor has got what is need to ensure that your loved you or our EMS and Firefighters are dully protected.
The above attack is only one example of an attack on a crew of First Responders with attacks on the rise the departments are scrambling to come up with ways to figure out how to keep the paramedics and Firefighters safe and out of unnecessary harm’s way. Some departments have thought about having police escort firefighters to and from the scene, though this would take a lot of valuable time away from the lifesaving ability of the Firefighters. So instead of this what needs to be done is the purchasing of Kevlar vest and other types of ballistic vest so that Firefighters don’t have to worry about being escorted and can quickly respond to the emergency at hand. Likewise, EMS also face the similar problem and it too can be answered in the same fashion, with the purchasing of Kevlar vest so that it takes away the risk harm for the EMS worker and they can carry out their job quickly and efficiently as possible. There are concerns over buttressing our EMS and paramedics as it will seem to be militarizing our paramedics when can be off-putting to some people as we are not a militarized state. However, in a time when people are willing to attack first responders whom are just attempting to save the lives of innocent people it may be time to get over the fear of buttressing the EMS and Firefighters and give them the equipment needed to keep them alive and safe so that they can return home every night. This does not turn us into a militarized stated you see, just a well prepared and well-functioning first aid responding unit. As well as this problem, the vest may be restrictive to the EMS and paramedics as to where they will not they will not be able to do their job efficiently and quickly. What is meant by this is the fact that EMS personal need to be very agile and light on their feet in order to respond to the needs of the patients they are seeking to save. Will the body armor restrict their movements too much and keep them from doing their jobs effectively and efficiently? Will body armor make Firefighter and EMS targets for attacks if they are wearing them? Some people believe so, especially if they are wearing the differentiated colors to distinguish between police and EMS/Firefighters. So, people believe that why wear the different colors, but then the EMS/Firefighters will look just like the cops and as mentioned above the First Responders will soon look like a militarized police force which people will fear and hesitate to utilize.
On Oct. 26, 2015, shots rang out striking the main firehouse in Grand Rapids, proving that these first responders are getting closer and closer to the danger zone a daily basis even when they are still at their “Home Away from Home.” And if they are not truly safe there then they are definitely not going to be safe out in a field environment going up again who knows what exactly. Then another day Firefighters were attacked by a man wielding a box cutter and unfortunately two of the men were injured. Now if they had been wearing vests then very possibly they could have escaped without any type of incident. This is where the companies like The Best Body Armor come back into play with the manufacturing of Kevlar and bulletproof vest that will decrease the chance of anything happening to a loved one wearing them. With products exceeding government standards and NIJ levels all the way up to level NIJ 5, The Best Body Armor produces a various design of vest from ACU Camo, Black, Multi Camo, to Tan Camo so the customer can always get what they need and want in order to keep themselves and others protected. If EMS, Firefighters and other paramedics start to purchase Kevlar and other types of bulletproof vests the questions arises how will they sustain their equipment and supply budget for such things. Because, we all know once a vest is struck it is no longer good, so it has to be switched out, or that a vest can and will expire after a certain amount of years. So, the question arises how will they corral this problem? One way would be to have the personal purchase the device themselves or get grants from the government to purchase these lives saving devices. However, this does not stop the vest from becoming expired if not (hopefully) ever being used. Having this problem would likely cause the EMS and other departments to defer from purchasing the bullet proof vest.
In conclusion, with everything that is going on in this world, even the EMS, Paramedics, and Firefighters are no longer entirely safe from people seeking to do them harm while they are just attempting to save the lives of people in need. So, the question has arisen is it time for these heroes themselves to wear bulletproof vest and Kevlar vest so that they can become as safe as possible while on the job. However, people are concerned of the militarization of the EMS and Firefighters and how the public would react to that since we are not a non-militarized state, how would these departments afford such life saving devices and the price of the upkeep of the vest. Also, EMS are concerned with the maneuverability restrictions that would be put upon them if they were to wear a vest, but does that out way the cost of wearing the vest? So, what can change and happen? The Best Body Armor can happen, with top of the line bullet proof vest exceeding government standards and requirements EMS, Paramedics and Firefighters can get the best type of gear for what they need to keep their lives and comrades safe. With all different NIJ levels up to NIJ LEVEL 5 they are sure to find what they need to get the safety that is required to keep them alive.
Ensuring the safety of the men and women of the police forces within the United States
While US Soldiers are equipped with usually the greatest and latest life saving devices such as Kevlar Helmets, Kevlar bulletproof vest, and extremely fortified tactically equipped vehicles to fight battles overseas in harsh and urban terrain (which makes sense) as they fight battles on a daily basis. Uniformed Police officers who step up to the plate every day to battle crime such as drug dealers, gang members, murderers, and homelands terrorists in urban terrain will go without even decades old life saving devices. On average 1 officer dies every 53 hours within the Unites States and in 2011 68 of the overall deaths of police officers were from firearms related injuries. (Police: The Law Enforcement Magazine) Much of this happens do the lack of funding within police departments and the ability to obtain such equipment such as bulletproof vests and other necessary products as well as cut-back in personnel training. You see many officers that actually do receive bulletproof vest will decide not to wear them as they will say they are too bulky and too heavy, or even too hot, yet not considering the implications in mind of what could happen if they do not wear the vest that day. Another fault happens at the local level especially down in the south wear the heat will climb in to the staggering degrees and officers wearing the vest will once again cling to the excuse of the vest being too hot to wear disregarding the lifesaving implications of the vest.
You see officers will have to get out and have to work traffic in the heat and complain about the vests. It is where law enforcement agencies to work to ensure that they setup local policies to ensure that their officers are doing what is necessary to save their lives. Another problems officers and police departments, especially small under equipped offices face, are expired, out of date vest that no longer are able to make the cut and do the job that is required of the vest in order to save the lives of the officers. When this happens, the officers are just wearing a heavy Kevlar vest that is there for looks and will essentially not stop anything no matter the distance. These expired, out of date vest are really the only concern because when it comes down to it the police departments are not getting these devices for free so essentially once the Kevlar vest is expired the department has essentially thrown away money which will cause a department to rethink about buying more vests in the future or they will continue to use these expired vests way into the future thus putting the officer’s life at risk. This is where companies such as The Best Body Armor come in with the production of light weight and superbly efficient tactical bulletproof vest where local police departments can get such needed equipment for their officers for the field and their safety so that these staggering numbers can decline. With vests exceeding government requirements, NIJ certified up to level 5. Police Departments, even the ones who are on the tightest of budgets can afford to get the brave men and women of law enforcement the lifesaving equipment needed to help to their job in their field.
Once purchased the real problem as mentioned before becomes getting the police officers to wear them and to keep them worn no matter the scenario. As said before the officer usually do not like to wear them in the South while working traffic as the heat tends to rise, nearing the hundreds and wearing a Kevlar or any type of bulletproof vest can get uncomfortable. This is where it is up to the local level police departments to implement the necessary needed required legislation or rules for that department for their officers to keep their vests on. The Federal government can pass laws that require all officers to wear, but if it is not enforced by the departments then nothing will become of this. However, is departments and states get behind it much as the seat belt laws, and the Click it or Ticket Campaign in the state of Florida, Officers will soon be wearing their vest in all conditions thus decreasing the numbers of lives lost to firearm related fatalities. While enforcing at the local level would not make it wear the lower level police departments would be able to afford more Kevlar vest at a more reliable rate it would mean the decrease in the department deaths. With the departments would be more likely to request funding or raise funding to obtain such needed accessories.
With more officers, more likely to wear vest if they are being locally enforced by their Departments, means the opportunity for more expired, out of date Kevlar vest. One issue departments face is the arrival of the vest due to the number of vests ordered. They will complain that they will take weeks to months to arrive thus putting their deputies at risk. (KSL.COM) And this issue will shorten the life span of the vest (though not drastically) by the time it arrived and was ready to be put into use by the officers and their respective police department. This would possibly risk the department ordering the vest entirely if they knew it was going to take such a long time to receive the Kevlar vest for their officers. Again, that is where companies such as The Best Body Armor come into play. Offering quick and FREE SHIPPING on products that will SAVE the lives of the wearer! With products up to NIJ level 5 rated and all different types of camouflage and MOLLE accessories every Police Department can get the equipment that they need to keep the lives of their Officers safer than ever.
Another factor that will boost the wear rate of the wonderful life saving devices are more updated technologies to ensure that the Police Officers, like the military, have the most up to date devices to ensure their safety here at home where it is slowly becoming more like a battlefield in some cities and gang territories. Bulletproof vest manufacturers are required to meet and in most cases, exceed requirement setup by the government to ensure that the Kevlar vest are capable and proven to do the job. Some of these standards are or include: Increased test velocities for Types IIA, II, and IIIA vests. An increase in the number of shots under which each vest must perform reliably. That number is nearly 90% higher than it was under the previous standard. Test panels must pass a submersion test where the vests must be fully immersed in 70-degree water for 30 minutes prior to being tested. A requirement for the vest to perform reliably after an accelerated aging process. (Police: The Law Enforcement Magazine) With these higher standards and requirements, it is going to prove that these Kevlar Vest are reliable and safe and are going to go the distance when needed to save the life of an Officer in the line of fire while doing their duty to protect the citizens of the United States.
In conclusion where as our soldiers, who see combat and risk their lives to ensure we have the freedoms necessary to conduct the perfect American Life receive the newest and latest in life saving technology, many officers here on the home front who risk their lives on a daily basis so that we can enjoy the freedoms go without Kevlar vest and other types of bulletproof vests that are needed to keep them safe and alive. And unfortunately, in some cases when they do have the needed Kevlar vest they are either outdated, they are expired, or the officers are not enforced to wear them and choose not to because of the bulkiness of them and the heat, and what good is a vest if it is not on or is expired or outdated. This is where local enforcement from department heads come in and enforce the wearing of these lifesaving Kevlar vests. As well as newer and better designs and research into the technology of bulletproofing is so vital. And as mentioned earlier that is where companies such as The Best Body Armor come into play yet again. Creating and selling bulletproof vest ranging all types of NIJ levels all the way up to NIJ level 5 a plate and ranging from a vast selection of colors from black to tans to several Camos, Police departments and the average security guard are now capable of getting the safety devices that they need in order to continue to carry out doing their jobs to best of their ability to protect the wonderful citizens of the Unites States of America while putting themselves in harm’s way on a daily basis.
Medical and Fire Departments Started Using Protective Vests and We should all use them too
Active shooters at schools, government buildings, churches and other public spaces is somethings that in my opinion will never stop. Unless we ban all weapons in the United States shootings around the country will continue and that won’t happen either for a long time. We all must accept that guns are something that people like, have and use. For this same reason, the Emergency service departments in Tampa Florida have accepted that shooting will continue and decided to issue a protective armor vest to every medical and fire department first responders. The City of Tampa spend more than $700,000 on 484 protective vests.
“If we expect to save lives, we must move in as close as possible,” said Craig Hare, Pinellas County Director of EMS & Fire Administration. “We need to come in right behind police officers the second they give us the go-ahead.”
I completely agree with Craig’s statement, Police officers and the Swat team are not the only first responders in a shooting scene. The medical and fire departments are also first responders with different jobs but they are all crucial to helping the victims come out safely. For this same reason is why the City of Tampa has decided to issue these vests, if the medics and firefighters are not protected against these shooters then at the end of the day we are just going to have more casualties and injuries during an active shooting. In the case of the medical and fire department, personal are required to listen to the police department. However, let’s say there’s a victim that’s injured in what is considered the “Hot Zone”, the area that is considered active for the shooter. These, ‘tactical medics” are trained to enter these areas and assist them. How can they do this without protective gear?
““That’s basically all we’re doing: taking care of immediate threats to life,” said Ross Pinney, one of Oldsmar Fire Rescue’s tactical medics who taught part of the training class where they practiced carrying and dragging victims from the scene of a shooting. “
I find this incredibly important, how is that just now these departments are beginning to issue armored gear to their employees? The government and City officials would do anything to save money and not spend, if every city in the nation were to spend $700,000 on armored vests I guarantee that the statistics for injuries and casualties would fall dramatically. City officials across the United States are sometimes found taking city funds for themselves, instead of using them for good purposes like protecting the people that risk their lives to save others.
“I get that there’s only so much money in the budget, but this is an important purchase because if and when this sort of thing does happen . . . the question will be, ‘Well, how come you weren’t better prepared?’”
Other cities across the United States should learn from the Tampa city officials and accept that active shooters will continue across the United States and there’s not enough city personal to protect every public building so instead they should invest the funds in protecting the first responders. This protective gear is not only required to be worn during an active shooter situation but also in any situation that can harm these first responders. As the Clearwater Fire & rescue Department stated
“that first responders must put on their body armor “before entering any type of hostile environment,” and this would include active-shooter situations, civil disturbances and fights.”
Although active shooters do the most damage and result in the largest number of casualties, it is also smart to make them wear the protective gear in these other dangerous environments because you never know who has a gun and decides to use it. A lot of these medical staff and firefighters don’t like the idea of wearing this protective gear in not serious situations. The Service departments in the City of Tampa decided to let each person decide if they want to wear the vests in none dangerous situations.
“Sean Becker, who is president of the Fire Fighters Association in Clearwater said, “We attended fire school with the full knowledge that we would be putting out fires, but we had no idea we would be asked to wear protective vests and helmets when responding to calls.”
The questions are, if every City service department is beginning to use protective vests then should we all? How can we know when we are going to need a vest? Has the world come to a point where we should all wear protective vests to work, to school and in our daily lives? Some argue yes, others argue that, that sounds ridiculous. Whichever you believe, I still think we should all own a body armor vest in order to decide ourselves when we should wear it or if anything were to happen, you can at least say in heaven “I did everything I could to protect myself, I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time “. On the other hand, if an armored vest or an armored backpack were to save your life you will be glad you were wearing at a bank shooting, airport or school shooting. The last question is, how much is your life worth to you?
Thank you for reading, if your life is worth more than $300 then don’t forget to check out our website and order your armored vest or armored backpack.
The ‘not too distant’ future of body armor
When it comes to the technological development of body armor and bullet proof vests one struggles to find a current middle ground. You have either the kevlar vests, which offer less body coverage and less protection but more mobility, or the heavier vests which boast higher stopping power, protection and can take multiple projectile hits but at the cost of mobility, comfort and in some occasions overheating. So why hasn’t there been any new development being the vital equipment that it is. You argue it’s the greed of private companies or the bureaucracy of the government which have halted any “groundbreaking” new technology in recent years, yet some big ideas have begun to come to light that promise a revolutionary new equipment that might save countless troop and civilian lives. So, taking into consideration that an average soldier needs about 31 pounds of armor to be fully protected and even with the minimum amount of gear still totaling in at around 21 pounds, the Army is being forced to switch troops to a lighter 16.5 pound vest that offers 1/4 of the protection. The main concern all manufacturers have with tackling this problem is making heavy armor plates at least 10 to 20 times lighter than any current plating without it affecting the integrity of the armor. Apart from the obvious weight concerns, current vests have the problem of overheating in harsh climates to the point where soldiers are forced to remove them in order to avoid heat strokes. And most heavy armored vests offer limited mobility and can cause stress fractures if used for an extended amount of time; so developing a vest that that is flexible, fits tightly, offers a high level of protection and doesn’t overheat is the overall goal.
When considering the problem of weight, 16.5 pounds of body protective gear is still unreasonably heavy if you are in battlefield harsh conditions; so future vests are aimed to be 10 pounds or less in order to hit a more manageable weight. Some manufacturers are considering using a type of boron-carbide ceramic plating that can weigh up to 30 percent less and offer even higher protection than the currently used by the military, adding to this an improved construction process that is being tested to make the plates fit more comfortably to the contours of the chest and spine. All this would be useless if the vest isn’t wearable for an extended period of time; in response to this heat issue, an inner vest cooling system is being developed that allows the wearer to maintain a safe body temperature under any environmental condition involving an inner shirt with a heat exchange that uses the circulation of water to provide cooling by means of a thermo-controlled valve that self regulates accordingly. Some light armored vests, mainly ones that use kevlar, are going to be replaced by body armor made from M-5 fibers which offer greater strength and 1/3 of the weight. That, and it relies on self-adjusting plates that prevent serious bruising to the chest but allow plenty of flexibility. Other options are liquid kevlar vests, this technology is reliant on a thickening liquid called polyethylene glycol which transitions from soft to rigid when impacted by a projectile, preventing any penetration and softening the impact. This type of liquid armor may just hold the key to the future of body armor since it’s implementation in all types of vests is currently being studied. So we can say the future is bright for body armor or even more importantly is that we’ll sleep better knowing we’re better protected.
Transportation laws for Body Armor
Bulletproof vests are arguably the most vital piece of lifesaving equipment a person can have, protecting the most exposed part of our body and the vital organs beneath. Since body armor has proven to be so successful it is of little surprise that lawmakers have made it their business to attempt various regulations behind the argument that, if highly restricted, it would be ensured that people attempting criminal activities wouldn’t benefit from the protection of the vests; giving the police an upper hand. These regulations have surged in the majority of states and they restrict from how you purchase your body armor to if you may even own one at all. In most states, as in the federal government, the use of bulletproof vests while committing a crime can result in more severe charges and sentences; also being in possession of a vest can be punishable itself depending on your criminal record. An example was a bill pushed by US Congressman Mike Honda in 2014 called “Responsible Body Armor Possession Act” which by prohibiting the sale, purchase, use or possession of “enhanced military-grade body armor” by anyone that wasn’t in active military duty or law enforcement. “There is no reason this type of armor, which is designed for warfare, should be available in our communities except for those who need it, like law enforcement” Congressman Honda stated. The term “enhanced body armor” is specifically describing any armored vest or helmet that surpasses the NIJ certified Type III armor. It is important to know the respective laws in your state before attempting to transport any sort of body armor.
In terms of federal laws, Congress has regulated body armor in two ways:
– An offense that has an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another or
– Any other offense that is a felony, and that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.
Body armor being defined as, “any product sold or offered for sale, in interstate or foreign commerce, as personal protective body covering intended to protect against gunfire, regardless of whether the product is to be worn alone or is sold as a complement to another product or garment.”
So, knowing the lawful limits of owning a bulletproof vest in your state, now for transporting it on a plane. It isn’t illegal to have them in your carry-on or checked bag, but being in possession of a bulletproof vest draws extra attention that can lead to in depth questioning by TSA agents since this isn’t an item that travelers often takes with them. In the end of course it is the on duty officers final judgement if he will either let you pass or require you to leave your vest behind. Some airlines can also cause problems if the weight of your carry on passes their predetermined limit, and with a heavy armored vest that isn’t too hard to achieve. Since an interrogation is a real possibility, it is important to have proper documentation and a clear idea as to why and what you plan to do with that armor, no question is off limits when it comes to border control. All these aspects can also affect even those trying to walk across any American border. So independent from your choice of transportation the laws apply mostly the same.
Best places to keep your gun at home
When deciding what place is safest to store a weapon in your house you quickly realize that there is no perfect hiding spot because it depends on many factors that pin us into tough choices. Like having to choose between always keeping your gun within arms reach or storing it in a safe where it is sure to be out of reach of anyone but you. Or like making the decision of having your gun always loaded and ready to go, as opposed to keeping your weapons in a room separate from your ammunition and body armor.
People who like to keep their guns in drawers, nightstands, and between mattresses argue that in the occasion of a break-in the speed in which you can be armed and ready not only gives you the advantage but decreases the chances of getting caught off guard. Yet, choosing to leave guns strewn about your house does increase the risk of you inadvertently arming your home invader which can leave you in a tougher spot. Another aspect to consider is if to leave your gun cocked; people for it tend to feel safer knowing that fine motors skills is the first thing you lose when the adrenaline starts kicking in, so loading a gun could be an issue for some when in highly stressful situations. Those against propose the argument that cocking the gun not only gives out a warning sound (which could save you the trouble of actual confrontation) but gives you more time to gather your wits before you make any final decisions. As Wyatt Earp once said, “Fast is fine but accuracy is final. Learn to shoot slow in a hurry.”
For some, keeping a loaded weapon close by at all times is not an option. People with children or those who would rather have their guns in a more secure location tend to favor safes. These can range from a small one or two weapons safe, to large ones built to house rifles and body armor as well. But with all gun strongboxes comes the same issue; in the event of a break-in, accessing and arming yourself in time could prove to be a challenge. Considering how a split second can make a world of difference, choosing to keep everything locked in a safe can be a secure yet risky option. Another potential drawback to safes is how expensive it can get to purchase and install some of them, but for people with collections or invaluable weapons this might be the most ideal way to go in terms of safekeeping. Some also reject the idea of safes since they can be specifically targeted by intruders, so a market for concealed safes has a rise in options like fake furniture, ornaments and regular household items that can conceal weapons around their home.
Technology has definitely benefited gun owners recently given the fact that we can now have access to higher grade protection for weapons than ever. Ranging from trigger locks that prevent unintentional discharges to fully customizable gun locks that feature thicker steel, resistance to fire damage, electronic locks, quality upholstery and even fingerprint recognition. With all this technology available there is little excuse for not being protected, but the most important thing to figure out is.. What is your ideal protection?
Security Personnel and Body Armor
The body armor and security industries are two closely interdependent trades. On one hand there’s the ballistic protection market which, fueled by the security industries never ending need for the latest improvements in bullet and stab resistance, continues to implement the latest technological advancement in engineering to further decrease the chances of serious injury or death. Considering those, there is the security industries constant growth; which nowadays ranges from shopping malls to high profile government institutions. All of the vastly different areas of operation entail varying levels of threat. For example, the dangers a bar security employee might find himself faced with are mostly stabs and low caliber guns; yet on the other hand an armored vehicle security guard might be more inclined to use a much higher grade of body armor that also protects against assault rifles and sub-machine guns. In some sectors of the security industry, other lesser-known types of vests are used like covert armor carriers, which provide a discrete fit, and are often times concealed completely. This conceal-ability comes along with a lighter overall weight and the inherent flexibility of Kevlar plates. This lightweight armor is usually worn beneath layers of clothing and is mostly used for securing private parties, high-end nightclubs or VIP protection scenarios.
One of the sectors that has arguably seen the largest growth in semi-private security has university campuses. Given the unfortunate reality that school shootings have been at an all-time high, some colleges have begun to adopt higher measures of security for the protection for their staff and students. Campus security face many dangers on the job and some tasks are not necessarily recognized. Beyond the basic “speeding on campus” traffic stops and all of the drunken bar fights, public intoxication and indecent exposure that tend to be a regular part of the college party scene. Some of the basic tasks of any university officer are to conduct daily and nightly patrols of buildings for anyone of ill intent. Their job also forces them to confront and questions the presence of any stranger on campus that may seem like a risk to himself or others, knowing and spotting suspicious behavior is key to this part of the job. Most officers are even trained to detect the presence of religious extremism and the recruitment strategies commonly used on young students. While most of the day-to-day interactions for campus and local police are relatively benign, Campuses tend to attract other more serious dangers like car chases, drug dealing, armed robbery, bomb threats and even mass shootings. So while it may seem like Campus PD’s do not need a lot of protection, very serious threats can arise out of nowhere, so it is better to be prepared for the worst.
Ultimately, all security jobs require specific gear, and when acquiring your ideal piece there must be a certainty of the threats and situations that protective armor will be exposed to. Ideally, managers should consider the most suitable options in order to assure their staffs safety on the job. Moreover, since there still is not a thing as a bulletproof officer, it is up to the people in the industry to strive for improvement and advancement in a field only limited by imagination and time.
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Should body armor be legal?
Is there such a thing as Overprotection?
When considering how precious and delicate life can be, one is often confronted with questions like, do I feel safe? Am I being prepared? Is there such a thing as “too prepared?” The most common conclusions tends to be that no matter how protected you are, you are not bulletproof. And nowhere less is that the case than in states like Connecticut, where state laws have been passed that directly confront the second amendment. These laws severely criminalize the buying and selling of protective body armor by any means that is not a person-to-person transactions. As a direct consequence, Public Act 98-127 not only restricts civilians’ access of life-saving protection but also directly affects law enforcement and military personnel, who depend on catalog or online bulk transactions, from acquiring an indispensable part of their gear. Why does that matter in Florida, or any other of the 49 states, you may ask. With New York following Connecticut’s footsteps and queuing up a few body armor restrictions this year the picture could not be clearer since some other anti-gun states are expected to jump on the bandwagon against self-protection for all the wrong reasons. The main drive behind these attempts to forcefully restrict the American people of their constitution given right is the general disarming of America with school shootings bearing the burden of being the excuse.
“The people intent on committing these atrocities outfit themselves with the macabre tools of their trade … and the defensive gear to ensure they do the most damage,” says Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center. A D.C.-based gun control research organization.
Although Mr. Sugarmann attempts to make a solid point about how the use of protective gear can, in some situations, hinder police’s attempts at controlling a situation since the criminal can be better protected against police force. To stop the main concern, criminals being better protected from law enforcement, some states have made it illegal for a person with a criminal record ranging from a simple misdemeanor to anyone that has been incarcerated from ever attempting to own any type of body armor or weapon. While this might put a dent in most former criminals attempts at acquiring protection there are still a wide variety of known ways you can acquire bulletproof protection illegal through the internet. So are these laws really helping the public (which should be their sole intention) or are they inadvertently just making it harder for the common law-abiding citizen American to take their safety into their own hands.
Should these restrictions continue to spread across the states we could inevitably find ourselves at a point where choosing protection based on your personal needs will be a thing of the past and only an option for certain law officers and active military personnel; confining citizens to a very limited and compromising number of options for self-preservation. In a country built on the foundation of freedom, having limited options for protections seems to directly interfere with that fundamental right. So does body armor hurt people? Of course not, their invention came from the need to preserve life and minimize injuries. And taking into account that police scanners, radar detectors and night vision binoculars are still 100% legal, we can only ask ourselves; Are we focusing on the problem at hand? Or just demonizing an important life-preserving tool in order to feel a little “safer.”
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