MADISON — Madison County EMS and fire personnel soon will be equipped with body armor in order to render aid more quickly in active shooter situations.

Madison’s Board of Supervisors recently approved the purchase of the body armor gear.

Currently, law enforcement clears a building before EMS and fire personnel enter.

However, according to John Sherer, the county’s emergency services coordinator, it’s been determined that lives could have been saved in active shooter situations if aid was rendered sooner.

“The idea is to shrink the response time,” Sherer said.

Those responding would be part of a rescue task force team, an idea that has been discussed during the county’s active threat tabletop discussions. The county will have an active threat training exercise Saturday at Madison County High School.

The high school grounds will be off limits to the public during the exercise.

Using the body armor will require additional training. Sherer said it also could be used in domestic incidents.

Supervisors unanimously supported the purchase, opting to spend approximately $6,500 for six sets of gear. The gear has a shelf life of five years.

“[That’s] cheap for this if it can save one life,” board Chairman Clay Jackson said. “Hopefully, it just ages out and we never have to touch them.”

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