CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - It was a massive coordinated effort -- police, fire, and 911 operators working together to bring down a man with a gun.
The Cincinnati City Council Law and Public Safety Committee took its turn in thanking first responders Monday, more than a week after a tragic shooting at the 5/3 Bank downtown left a shooter and three others dead.
“We commend you, you are all heroes,” said Chris Smitherman, committee chair. “We thank you so much for everything you do for the citizens of Cincinnati.”
The police department says officers were on the scene within 3 1/2 minutes of the very first 911 call, thanks in part to the Emergency Communications Center, which was heavily criticized for the way it handled the Kyle Plush calls back in April.
“We should be very proud as a city of our first response system. It functioned the way it should function as best as it could in a situation that was so severe and extreme on that day,” said Jayson Dunn, the center’s director.
Council members approved bulletproof vests for more than 800 firefighters this past fall, and the Law and Public Safety Committee has now agreed to look into even more equipment to keep responders safe, such as ballistic helmets.
Firefighters have had close calls in the past. In July 2015, while battling a blaze in Avondale, a bullet ricocheted off a firefighter’s helmet. Assistant fire chief Tom Lakamp has the kevlar helmets for his bomb squad, and he now wants them on his firefighters.
There was plenty of praise for the police department Monday as well -- city officials said that if officers had not responded the way they did, more people would have lost their lives.