New ILBV saves officer from angry bull in Qld’s Southwest

It’s not everyday that police protective gear is put to the test by a bull on the loose, but this specific incident has highlighted just how vital the new Integrated Load Bearing Vest (ILBV) is.

Officers were responding to a livestock truck rollover along the New England Highway on July 26, at Morven, near Charleville, when one of the bulls charged an officer.

Luckily, the officer was recently fitted with the new ILBV, which may have made all the difference when he was charged by the bull into the bulbar of a truck, before hitting the ground and being stomped on.

“Obviously the policing job is pretty diverse – you never know what you’re going to get on a day-to-day basis,” the officer said.

“But that was pretty unexpected, and I’ll admit, it was a bit of a shock.

“I don’t want to think about what might have happened had I not been wearing that vest, but let’s just say I’m pretty glad I had it on. It’s certainly done its job.”

The ILBV combines ballistic and edged weapon technology through modern advancements in textiles and design and began their state-wide roll out in January this year to frontline officers across Queensland.

Over 3,300 officers have already received the ILBV as part of their personal issued equipment, while another 6,000 have been meticulously measured to receive theirs.

Acting Senior Sergeant Lisle Manthey from the Organisational Capability Command said that the vests had already proven their exceptional capability in keeping officers safe, even if it was somewhat unconventional.

“The officer charged by the bull was able to walk away from this incident because of the impeccable safety and capability of this vest. Without it, the officer could have suffered life-threatening injuries or worse”.

“These vests not only allow officers to safely carry their accoutrements on a daily basis but they provide added protection against offenders who may be armed with knives or firearms or on this occasion, the brunt of a charging bull.

“The combination of both the soft and hard amour ensures the vest is able to disperse a wide range of impacts. No matter what an officer may be struck with – large or small – the vest will distribute the impact of the force or trauma, potentially avoiding lethal consequences for the officer,” Acting Senior Sergeant Manthey said.

The QPS ILBV won a global award at the Network Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors (NAUMD) in the USA in April this year.

The roll out is expected to be completed in 2024.

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