Bronx EMS crew attacked while treating patient

FDNY ambulances stand outside after the EMT went inside building to assist woman having difficulty breathing during ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID19) in New York
NYC’s EMS workforce has been facing a significant retention crisis, as 50% of EMT’s were quitting after just three years on the job and 70% were leaving for other jobs and careers by their fifth year.
Photo REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

A Bronx EMS crew was attacked last week after they picked up a patient and the man became violent in the ambulance.

According to FDNY EMS President Oren Barzilay, EMS responded on June 17 to a call at 9 p.m. on Pelham Parkway and Williamsbridge Road. The paramedics treated an unconscious man and he was put in the ambulance.

However, the ride then took a turn for the worse. Suddenly, the man woke up, became violent and punched and spat on the EMT.

Then the disturbed person ran out of the ambulance and began smashing the glass on the side door trying to get in, according to Barzilay. He eventually shattered it and manually opened the door. As he did that, the EMT ran out of the ambulance.

The deranged man stood in the street yelling incomprehensible words. Fortunately, the EMT got back in the ambulance and they were able to drive away.

Barzilay told the Bronx Times that sadly incidents like this happen far too often. He explained that EMTs are not encouraged to fight back nor taught self defense.

“This is a problem that we’ve been telling them [the city] about for years,” he said.  “They were left with nothing to do, but get beat up or or run away. This happens on a daily basis.”

The police were called, but since the duration of the incident was just two minutes, dispatch reported it was no longer happening, so they ended up not responding.


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