EMTs Face All Kinds of Danger

By: Jessica Dealy Email
By: Jessica Dealy Email

Officials with Metro Ambulance say a pair of their EMTs were attacked over the weekend by a man wielding a samurai sword.

Officials say the attack happened on a routine 'decreased level of consciousness' call.

A man in the house allegedly came after the EMTs with the sword. Neither was seriously injured, but they were certainly shaken up. No charges have been filed yet.

The attempted attack certainly draws attention to how dangerous this job can be.

EMTs respond to car crashes. They even come to our houses when we are hurt or have a medical emergency.

Before responding to even the most common of calls, dispatchers working for Metro Ambulance make attempts at ensuring the safety of EMTs.

Operations manager Johnny Williamson says the current methods used to diagnose a scene usually keep EMTs safe from harm.

"It is a pre-set protocol that under certain situations you do notify police to come to the scene and assist you," said Williamson. "If there is an indication that there is a violent situation that has occurred, then the ambulance will stand by in close proximity of the call until police arrive."

EMTs go into situations every day not knowing what could happen. A normal every day call could turn life threatening in seconds.

In the most recent alleged assault involved a man holding a samurai sword in the house they were called to. Both men called for assistance and were unharmed but no doubt, shaken up.

EMT Brian McCary says the news of violence used against medical personnel is a reminder to never let your guard down while on the job.

"It'll make you be more on your toes," said McCary. "Take in the area of the scene you're called to. Be conscious and aware of your surroundings."

On-the-job injuries are pretty common for EMTs. A recent study in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine found that ten percent of EMTs miss work because of an injury on any given day. It's 19 percent in cities. To compare, the rate for the rest of the population is just over one percent.

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