Dallas shooting sparks firefighters' safety concerns

Houston's fire chief says Monday's events in Dallas are an opportunity for the Houston Fire Department to reevaluate its safety measures when responding to dangerous calls.

HOUSTON - Safety concerns for Houston firefighters and EMTs is not something new.

A union spokesman says often times they feel they do not have adequate protection.

One option discussed in the past is allowing firefighters and EMTs to carry concealed weapons on the job.

Houston Fire Department Chief Samuel Peña says that option is not on the table right now. He says Monday's shooting in Dallas are an opportunity for the Houston Fire Department to reevaluate its safety measures when responding to dangerous calls.

"Situations like active shooters, we would wait for law enforcement to secure the scene before we go in and do operations, this seems to be a different situation," Peña said. "This was unexpected. It was a random shooting."

The Houston Firefighters' Union says these active shooter incidents have been happening more frequently, leaving them exposed.

"...The Houston Fire Department still does not have a standard operating guideline regarding active shooter incidents," said Houston Professional Firefighters Association president Patrick M. Lancton. "Nor do we believe the administration has taken sufficient measures to protect our men and women during such attacks."

A 2016 CBS News poll showed EMTs have the fourth-most dangerous job in the United States, and firefighters have the sixth-most dangerous job.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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