Canadian Medic Purchases Own Body Armor


 
 

MIKE McINTYRE | | Wednesday, August 12, 2009


WINNIPEG - Bryan Leach was unable to save the life of Winnipeg's latest shooting victim, despite frantic efforts. But the veteran paramedic is doing all he can to ensure he and his colleagues stay safe as gangs and guns become a summertime staple in the city's core.

Leach, 35, arrived at the Flora Avenue crime scene early Tuesday wearing $1,200 worth of body armour he paid for out of his own pocket. He is angry the City of Winnipeg won't currently fund protection for the 160 paramedics who are exposed to all kinds of risks while on the front lines.

"I think something will happen to one our members sooner rather than later," Leach told the Free Press on Tuesday afternoon. He was coming off just a few hours of sleep following the emotionally draining experience of watching a man die.

The city is currently studying the issue of body armour and is planning to survey all paramedics to gauge interest.

"It's like we're reinventing the wheel here, it just keeps dragging on," said Leach, who serves as a health and safety committee representative in his union. He noted a similar poll was taken in 2004. In that case, 50 per cent of members wanted protective equipment. Another 25 per cent were undecided, while the remaining 25 per cent said they weren't interested.

"With education and the higher prevalence of violence in the city, I'm positive (the numbers of) those who want armour have increased," said Leach.

He decided not to wait and bought his own equipment, with the blessing of his union. Leach hopes to write it off on taxes as a "work expense." He believes only one other paramedic has made the same investment.

Read More Paramedic wants city to buy vests


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Gear and Gadgets, Provider Wellness and Safety

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

South Dakota Ambulance Struggles with Staffing

State gives service a deadline to recruit more members.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Maryland Paramedic Recognized for Valor at Traumatic Crash

Medic worked on a firefighter pinned in a violent crash.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Colorado Bill Makes EMS Violence a Felony

Mandatory jail time for people convicted of assaulting an EMT or paramedic.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Michigan Ambulance Crash Causes Building Explosion

MMR ring crashed into a gas line at their company quarters.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

South Korea Ferry Disaster

Death toll expected to rise dramatically.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Boston Bombing Heroes

A look at four who became well known in the tragic bombing.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Fatal, Fiery California Bus Crash

Seven students and two drivers killed in crash.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >