(THUNDER BAY, ON) – Superior North EMS paramedics have been dealing with increasing violence on the job. Paramedics have been spit on, punched, kicked and otherwise assaulted.
Paramedics have always worked closely with police, but now they will be working even closer. They will be getting as much information as possible about a call before arriving and relying on police to ensure their safety when needed.
Often, when a medical emergency is happening at a known trap house or address where violence has erupted recently, paramedics will wait outside until police arrive and escort them into the building. This is common place when overdoses or other medical calls come from violent trap houses.
Local paramedics have completed courses which teaches them how to escape and evade certain situations as well as increasing their ability to judge whether police presence is needed to enter a scene. Overall, this will increase paramedic safety so that they are more often able to take on the next call that comes in.
A see-through “spit-screen hood” is now available to paramedics so that they can protect themselves from violent patients who have spit at them or threatened them.
Between September of 2016 and October 2019, paramedics were reported as involved in 52 incidents where they were enduring abuse in one form or another in which 17 of those involved spitting.