NEW YORK CITY, NY – According to a local union chief, New York City Fire Department EMTs and paramedics have become subjected to attacks at an increased frequency lately, and the union chief claims that officials aren’t listening to voiced concerns on the matter.
New York City Fire Department (FDNY) EMTs and paramedics are being attacked and need help but no one is listening, their union chief claims. https://t.co/zW2EMkQ6dL
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) April 19, 2021
Local 2507 of the Uniformed EMTs, Paramedics, and Fire Inspectors union president Oren Barzilay says that since the beginning of 2021, at least four ambulances have had windows smashed as well as instances of parked cars outside of the Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, EMS base have endured targeted vandalism.
A report from the New York Post noted that EMS crew that were driving on Marcus Garvey Boulevard near Quincy Street on January 1st had an “unknown object” thrown at the vehicle, which resulted in the passenger side window getting smashed.
According to Barzilay, one of the more recent incidents involved an EMS crew responding to a call where someone had thrown a brick at the vehicle:
“These incidents are causing a delay in getting the public the help they need as these units are placed off-service for investigation, the wellness of our members and repairs.”
On April 13th, two ambulances that were nearby the FDNY EMS station 57 had reportedly been graffitied with the letters “FTP,” an acronym used by the anti-police crowd that stands for “fuck the police.”
Now EMS under attack. https://t.co/OhtDqBEmFa
— JerseyShoreNeanderthal (@elliott_correia) April 17, 2021
Barzilay proclaims that despite his crews in during day today assaults, these first responders aren’t being afforded any additional safety, self-defense, or even de-escalation training. When it comes to the equipment they have to protect themselves, they reportedly have 20-year-old bullet proof vests.
Going back to December of 2020, there was an ambulance in the Brooklyn area that was reportedly ambushed and robbed at gunpoint when responding to a 911 call.
Apparently that EMS crew, that consisted of a male and female, responded to a 911 call that stemmed from a Brooklyn buildings 11th floor and were robbed of their supply bag.
From what Barzilay makes of the matter pertaining to EMTs and paramedics being targeted for attacks, he says that officials don’t pay attention to these things until someone winds up getting killed:
“The [FDNY] department is only reactive when someone gets killed.”
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Back in March, Law Enforcement Today reported on an incident in New York City where a paramedic was bitten in the face – requiring stitches – when responding to a patient experiencing an “altered mental status.”
Here’s that previous report.
NEW YORK CITY, NY – An FDNY paramedic was reportedly bitten by a patient that was described as suffering from an “altered mental status” recently, requiring the paramedic to get stitches on her cheek.
Officials say that the paramedic is “scarred for life” as a result from the attack.
Yikes. This is brutal. https://t.co/gUPtDoMaLY
— David Slotnick (@David_Slotnick) March 5, 2021
The incident occurred at approximately 1:45 a.m. on March 5th after paramedics were called out to respond to a 17-year-old girl suffering from some sort of episode within the Sheepshead Bay area.
On site paramedics were reportedly trying to treat the teenage patient, while also working to prevent her from injuring herself. Officials say the 17-year-old girl has then suddenly rushed down a staircase and bit a female paramedic’s face.
Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro described the injury sustained by the paramedic as, “horrific” while also noting that no one – especially a paramedic – should have to worry about being attacked in such a fashion while working:
“No one should be attacked when they are at work, and certainly not EMTs and Paramedics who respond to every incident with one mission – to save lives.”
Anthony Almojera, an EMS lieutenant in Sunset Park who is vice president of Local 3621 of the FDNY Uniformed EMS Officers, shared images of the paramedic’s injury on Twitter, while writing the following caption:
“Last night this happened to one of our medics here in the FDNY EMS. Every call we go on can be our last. The dangers are everywhere. All the more reason we deserve the same pay and benefits as the other 911 agencies.”
Last night this happened to one of our medics here in the FDNY EMS. Every call we go on can be our last. The dangers are everywhere. All the more reason we deserve the same pay and benefits as the other 911 agencies. Note: posted with permission from inured medic. @NYCEMSwatch pic.twitter.com/bqPbGoqTPe
— Anthony Almojera 🚑✈️🕉 (@AnthonyAlmojera) March 5, 2021
One of the shared photos was individually captioned by the unidentified paramedic, which read:
“I got bit in the face by a human being just trying to get her on to a stretcher & go to the hospital.”
This incident was just one of three recent similar assaults launched against paramedics in a two-week period within New York City.
On February 27th, a paramedic reportedly had his thumb bitten while responding to a call within the Bronx. Then on March 4th, reportedly another first responder was bitten when responding to an incident.
Lieutenant Almojera expressed his frustrations with these sorts of attacks on EMS personnel, saying:
“We need genuine help in protecting our members. We get attacked and nobody gets prosecuted. We not only need the same pay and benefits as the other 911 agencies, NYPD and Fire, but the same protections as well.”
While it’s unclear as to what the exact prosecution rate is with respect to those who allegedly attack the likes of paramedics, the young girl from the March 5th incident isn’t getting off scot free.
The 17-year-old girl was reportedly transported to Coney Island Hospital following the early-morning incident, and was later charged with assault in the second degree and assault with intent to cause physical injury.
The identity of the suspect has not been released as of this writing, nor is it clear whether it will be due to the suspect’s age.
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