We’ll kick off the news this week with a story that is probably all too familiar for some of us in EMS, an assault on an EMT. Teresa Soler was working on an ambulance in Brooklyn, New York when her unit was called to an apparent intoxicated subject. That subject was Michael Jaccarino, Brooklyn Assistant District Attorney.
Ambulance Became Combat Scene
During transport to the hospital, Jaccarino allegedly tried to exit the ambulance, assaulting and choking Soler in the process. When her partner finally pulled over, ran to the back of the ambulance and opened the doors he supposedly found Jaccarino with his hands still around Soler’s neck. Now, New York emergency responders are up in arms because it appears that the DA will only be charged with a misdemeanor and probably get off with a slap on the wrist. City court officials say that because he was drunk, he can argue that he didn’t know what he was doing and they can’t prove the intent to do harm necessary for a felony conviction.
Aside from the obvious problems with the district attorney’s office protecting their own at the expense of another city employee, there is the larger issue here that EMS professionals are being attacked every day with little or no consequences to the patient or bystander involved in the assault. It is time to tell the public that it is no longer open season on EMTs and paramedics on the job.
All Drunks Are Unsafe Scenes
There’s an argument to be made that any drunk or intoxicated individual is an “unsafe scene” and we should force police to transport them to the hospital. Perhaps if we make police to come to every scene where we have a drunk patient, we’ll start to get some attention to the problem. Scene safety first, right? So stage prior to your next drunk or overdose call and wait for police to get there first. Let them take the first few punches, at least they’ve been trained to defend themselves. What do you think? I welcome your thoughts here on the show’s comments for this episode or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out all of the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links for the Tip of the Week in the shownotes for this week’s episode — Cannabinoid Hyperemesis, Opioid Hearing Loss, and Episode 320.