Garden City Hospital and the Garden City Rotary joined together to help purchase seven protective vests for local firefighters and first responders.

Robert W. McLachlan, Garden City Rotary past president, won a grant from the Rotary District 6400, covering Wayne, Monroe and Lenawee counties, as well as Essex County in Canada, to help pay for the gift. He made the vest presentation to Fire Chief Cathy Harman during a recent Rotary Club meeting.

The cost was slightly more than$5,000, he said adding that local Rotarians also chipped in for the new protective gear. Garden City Hopsital donated $1,500 toward the project.

Harman told the luncheon crowd gathered at Amantea’s resturant that she sometimes stays up at night worrying about the safety of firefighters in the department. Even emergency runs that seem easy, she said, can unexpectedly turn violent.

“With the recent attacks on public safety workers,” Harman said, the vests are “an added level of protection. Thank you for helping me keep the guys safe.”

Rotary District Governor Sue Goldsen attended the Garden City Rotary meeting. Local Rotarians, she said, should be applauded for working on the vest project.

“What an amazing program,” she said pointing to other recent local initiatives, like filling backpacks with school supplies for children returning to school and providing scholarships.