TINS, TIWFDASL, I had caught the detail, and the happy go lucky soul with whom I was working that particular night on Da City’s EMS, decided it was time to ask me about my ballistic vest. Now, it was not any sort of secret among members of the department that I wore a kevlar vest. After all, in Those Days, Da City was known as “The Murder City”, and not without some justification. We chatted about the threat profile we confronted (although, the chat went along the lines of “What? Do you expect to be shot?” My response was “Nope. I wear this for those scenes on which I do NOT anticipate being shot. On those on which I anticipate being shot, I will simply refuse the run until the police have secured the scene!”)
This guy, no doubt thinking himself clever, pronounced, “Well, if the scene goes to shit, I’ll run out, and you follow me! That way, your vest will protect both of us!”
My rejoinder was, “In that case, you had best be certain that you do not slow down, lest you have my bootprints all up your back, as I run you over!”
Later, my partner and I discussed the vest and EMS. He asked, non-snarkily, how I had come to the conclusion that the vest was the way to go.
I noted that the vest cost me about as much as a Colt Government Model in .45 acp.
It was not a felony to wear the vest concealed, in contrast to the Colt.
It was not a black letter violation of department regulations, in contrast to the Colt (or any other firearm).
The vest would not inadvertently discharge, in contrast to the Colt, where that was a potential problem.
The vest was not going to drop out of my pocket, on the floor of the ED, in front of Ghawd and Everybody, in contrast to a handgun which another of our peers had won the opportunity to explain.
I would not in any circumstance hesitate to use the vest, in contrast to the Colt.
Finally, I was interested in meeting the soul who could relieve me of the vest, and hurt me with it, again, in contrast to the Colt.
So, I wore a vest. Others, or so I was told, elected to wear a firearm.