Two recent cases have first responders like EMTs and paramedics a bit on edge.
New York State Police in Saratoga County say Joseph Golden is facing charges that include reckless endangerment and resisting arrest. Troopers say they were called to a Corinth home to assist medics who had been trying to treat Golden’s wife, but he allegedly threatened them.
In a separate case on Tuesday night, a frightened EMT dropping off a patient at Samaritan Hospital in Troy told dispatchers a man ran out on the front of her ambulance waving what appeared to be a weapon. Troy Police say it turns out he never had a gun. That the man later told officers he wanted the ambulance to run him over as an attempt at suicide. He’s now under observation at Samaritan.
“Whenever you go on an emergency call you never really know what to expect when you get there,” says Peter Berry, the Chief of EMS for the Town of Colonie.
He says the key to staying safe comes down to training. “You’re taught to assess the scene, look at the scene and determine whether or not it’s safe. And if it’s not, to pull back and call the police for help.” He says many people don’t often think of EMTS as first responders like police officers or firefighters. Yet the potential for danger is always there.
Currently, at the Capitol, there is proposed legislation to make EMS an essential service like the police and firefighters. Berry says, “I think there is a lot of misunderstanding about EMS as to whether or not it’s an essential service. Here in the Town of Colonie, it obviously is.”