Helena Council approves safety equipment

The Helena City Council approved the purchase of AED units for Helena High School and new hard body armor protective vests for the Helena Emergency Response Unit at the July 25 council meeting. (Contributed)

The Helena City Council approved the purchase of AED units for Helena High School and new hard body armor protective vests for the Helena Emergency Response Unit at the July 25 council meeting. (Contributed)

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–The Helena City Council approved two resolutions at the July 25 meeting that will help ensure safety measures for the Helena Police Department as well as at Helena High School.

Council members unanimously approved Resolution 07252016a for the purchase of AED units for Helena High School and Resolution 07252016b for the purchase of protective vests for the HPD emergency response team.

The AED units placed at the high school are used if an emergency situation were to arise at a sporting event and Helena Mayor Mark Hall said the goal is to have the additional AED units in place at facilities all over the high school.

“We had an incident where a person possibly had a heart attack and we were in a little bit of a flux there with some time lapse so we don’t ever want that to happen again,” said Hall. “It’s a good deal and it’s the newest technology and everyone can be trained on that one specific device when they have their training sessions so it’s a very important thing I think.”

Helena High School Principal April Brand said five total AED units will be placed at the school and the newest technology will be put in place to replace the existing technology.

The new units will be in place before the first home football game and the total cost approved by the council was $4,706 out of the 1-cent school fund.

The second resolution approved was for the purchase of six hard body armor protective vests for the Helena Emergency Response Team.

Helena Police Chief Pete Folmar brought the issue to the council after realizing the current vests were past the manufactures recommended service life.

“One of the things that came to our attention is that there’s a couple of different kinds of body armor,” said Folmar. “What we wear everyday on duty is rated for handgun rounds and it will stop most any handgun round that might be fired at me. The ERT or SWAT guys, their unit is specifically designed for a situation where somebody might be armed with something greater than a handgun and they wear hard body armor that is rated to stop up to an AR-15 round, a hunting rifle round and those sorts of things.”

Folmar found six vests for approximately $2,940. The vests are typically worn during emergencies or high profile warrant arrests and other situations.

The council unanimously approved the purchase of the vests saying “It’s a necessity when it comes to safety.”