SOUTH MIDDLETON TOWNSHIP, P.A. --- Since October, Yellow Breeches Emergency Management Service has put a policy in place that puts 15 bullet and knife resistant vests to use.
While Chief Bob Weidner said it helps them feel more comfortable on the job, he said it's sad that it has come to this point.
"We all want to go home tonight to our families and stuff, and you just don't know anymore," said Weidener.
For decades, Weidner and his crew have stuck their necks out to help when emergencies happen in Cumberland County.
He said times have changed, drastically.
"You went and got the call, you picked them up, you hauled rear-end to the hospital, that's how it worked. Now, it's a lot different. You're getting all this information and the patient you're getting is not the same person. They're having anxiety attack or they want to kill somebody or kill themselves, you don't know," said Weidner.
Costing around $3,300 total, Yellow Breeches EMS bought the vests with money from their own budget while also receiving $1,000 in grant money from Wal-Mart's community grant team.
Weidner said they're light and mobile, preventing any hinderance in their work.
He said their policy mandates use for active shooter, assault, or any high-risk calls.
"At least with this on, if something does happen, if somebody just randomly starts firing away or coming at me with a knife or whatever, I feel safe," said Weidner.
Yellow Breeches is one of only a handful of teams in Cumberland County using the vests.
However, Weidner worries wearing bullet and knife resistant vests could just be the beginning.
"I don't know what the future is going to hold with EMS anymore, if we're going to end up wearing helmets and whatever else comes along. Times have changed," said Weidner.
He also said since they put the vest protocol into effect in October, they've responded to half a dozen calls in need of them.
He said if the vests can save one of their more than 30 volunteers and employees, then it's worth having them.