Finally in the news this week I point you to an article about a paramedic assault that occurred in Chicago recently and the charges brought against the college student involved in the attack. The article recounts an attack on a female paramedic who was trying to treat DePaul University student Erik Kawar.
Paramedic Assaulted Responding to Call for Help
The paramedic responded to a call for an intoxicated individual with a head injury after a fall. When she arrived, the patient allegedly attacked her, punching her in the face and pushing her to the ground. The Cook County, Illinois State’s Attorney is charging all such crimes as felonies and says that they are averaging about one such case a week, underlining the prevalence of assaults on paramedics in the field.
In one way I’m concerned by the number of attacks seen in the city but in another way, I’m glad that authorities are taking such attacks seriously. The next part of the equation, though is you. You, and I, need to report these situations when they occur and make sure that we seek treatment and documentation of the incident by law enforcement officers. In too many areas, paramedics have to go and press charges on their own time by swearing out a complaint.
Increased Reporting of Assaults on Providers
I think this is part of the problem. Talk to your local authorities. Will police take a complaint and will the local DA file charges based on that complaint without you coming in to file charges on your own? We should be treating these assaults just like assaults on police officers.
Individuals who strike out at EMS personnel just doing their jobs are a danger to society at large and if they will hit a paramedic, I have to believe they’ll hit a police officer, or some other authority figure. It’s time to take charge of this problem and make sure that we report, charge and prosecute these individuals. Our safety depends upon it.
Follow-up on the link for this and other news items as well as all of the additional resource links in the show notes for this episode – Colleges and Bacterial Meningitis EMS Review and Episode 364.