Dutch ambulance equipment should include ‘bullet-proof vests’

The Dutch ambulance service platform Ambulancezorg Nederland has recommended that all local ambulance services buy bullet-proof vests for their workers for use in ‘extreme situations’.

The bullet-proof vests are part of a much wider approach to dealing with extreme violence, spokeswoman Nadiene Toby told DutchNews.nl.  ‘The ambulance service wants to be well prepared for situations in which extreme violence may be an issue, such as a terrorist attack.’

Protective clothing is just one part of the preparations, she said. ‘Every ambulance service should decide how and when it will buy the vests.’

So far only Zuid-Limburg has bought the vests and they are now a standard part of the equipment in each ambulance, the Telegraaf reported on Friday.

‘If we expect a dangerous situation, then of course the police are always on hand as well,’ Estelle Kuppens of the Zuid Limburg health board told the paper. ‘But the vests are in the ambulances in case workers feel the need for them, as are gas masks.’

The Hague, the paper says, has ordered stab-proof rather than bullet-proof vests, and they will not be worn in everyday situations,’ spokesman Tom van Egmond said.

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