Some recent headlines regarding attacks against EMS workers:

  • In Detroit, MI – Paramedics were called to the scene of a house party where a woman was reportedly unconcscious. Greeted by a large group of people on the front porch, the responding paramedic asked if he could help the woman, and was then punched in the face. The group of people attacked him as he lay on the ground until his partner rescued him and they fled the scene
  • In Oklahoma City – A motorist got tired of waiting for a road to open after a serious car accident, and so punched a paramedic working at the scene.
  • In Dorset, England – A female paramedic was flagged down by a man who appeared to need help. When she rolled down her window, he punched her in the face
  • In Cairns, Australia – A female paramedic was attacked by a man who tried to pull her out of the driver’s seat of her ambulance. In far north Queensland, where this took place, five paramedics were assaulted in July and August alone.
  • In Victoria,  Australia – An ambulance was pelted with projectiles that smashed through windows and cracked the windshield. The paramedic involved said it was the third time in four years that an ambulance he’d been driving had come under attack.

So what’s going on? Most medics have experienced violent or dangerous situations from patients from time to time, but this latest round of violence seems to defy explanation. Could it be that paramedics in uniform and their emergency vehicles represent law enforcement to some degree, and therefore incur the wrath of the general public? That seems far fetched. Is EMS somehow developing a bad reputation? In the past, rescue personnel have enjoyed the respect of the general public and the gratitude of people they serve. So why is this changing? For the sake of the medics who continue to face this intolerable situation, I hope we discover the answer soon.

Tagged with →  
Share →

6 Responses to Paramedics facing increasing violence on the job

  1. podmedic says:

    I struggle with how many of these stories to put in the show each week. It seems as if I could do one almost every show. I try to stress the importance of watching your backs but when you have a patient or family member blind-side you, what can you do?

    The only option is to continue to make everyone who get charged and convicted serve a very tough punishment for assaulting an EMS provider.

  2. EMT Tim says:

    One of the scenarios we were given in EMT school was being called in pair by pair to an upstairs bedroom in the station. Walking down the long narrow hallways to the room, we heard some shouting. Get in the room and one guy is sitting in a chair, not very notable, and a girl is upset asking you to do something for the pt (a dummy). We start assessment of the pt and start asking questions, then *bam* the guy gets up, closes the door, and “stabs” each of us with a laryngoscope blade.

    Moral of the scenario? Be on alert when you hear shouting, try to know who is in there with you, and watch your exits.

    I highly recommend Krav Maga training to anyone, especially first responders. It teaches you to respond and defend yourself in literally any situation, with training that focuses on real-world situations/experiences.

  3. W. Foster, EMT-P says:

    I believe that the only way to constructively combat violence against EMS and all first responders, would be to ensure that the offender would be charged the same as if they had committed the offence against a law enforcement agent.
    W F, Paramedic

  4. newt3947 says:

    Attacks against ems providers has been prevalent for many years, but has only recently become more of a buzz. It seems that being attacked as a medical provided \goes with the territory.\ That’s ridiculous! What other job is there where it is acceptable to get assaulted? No one wants to go to work one day and come home banged up. I took a self defense class several years ago that was excellent. Anyone interested in a learning simple and effective self defense techniques should check out DT4EMS at

  5. Knight Owl says:

    i agree with EMT TIM-

    i am an FF/EMT and krav maga istructor. while treating our pt’s CC is our objective, the #1 goal is to go home alive and in one piece. a little knowledge of self-defense goes a long way, especially in basic situational awareness.

  6. Greg Adams says:

    I find it extremely frustrating that a profession that is listed as the ‘most trusted profession’ here in Australia can be subjected to so much violence towards it’s members. It seems to be a world wide trend to have no respect for anyone in uniform.

    Is it the increase in drugs, more violence seen in the movies, a mental shift in the current generations away from respect of anything associated with the establishment?
    Maybe there should be a general psychological survey of all those associated with causing this damage to try and get a handle on it so we can understand WHY. It does not make a great deal of sense to bite the hand that’s helping you!!

Leave a Reply