Four Chula Vista Firefighters Attacked While Responding to Call - NBC 7 San Diego

Four Chula Vista Firefighters Attacked While Responding to Call

Approximately 80 to 90 percent of the calls firefighters respond to are for medical aid, according to the department

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    The firefighters were responding to a man having a seizure and were attacked by the patient. NBC 7's Ashley Matthews has the story.

    (Published Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017)

    While responding to what seemed to be a regular medical aid call Wednesday morning, four Chula Vista firefighters were attacked by the patient.

    A man who once trained as an MMA fighter turned and attacked the people trying to help him, firefighters said.

    The incident occurred while the firefighters from Station One were responding to a call of a man having a seizure in National City, according to the Chula Vista Fire Department.

    "Things were pretty normal. We were greeted by family members saying the patient had a medical condition and this was normal with them," said CVFD Fire Capt. David Margetts.

    Approximately 80 to 90 percent of the calls firefighters respond to are for medical aid, according to the department.

    But this time, Margetts said the seemingly regular call took a turn for the worse.

    "He turned around sharply and then started to approach my crew," Margetts said, speaking of the patient. "As he did, he squared up in a very menacing fashion and then started to try to attack us."

    He said it became a struggle between the patient and the firefighters who were trying to get the man under control so he wouldn't hurt himself or anyone else.

    "We don't carry handcuffs or anything to subdue people when we're out there. We're simply there to provide a service and help," said Darrell Roberts, President of Chula Vista Firefighters.

    The man swung at the firefighters several times, but fortunately, he missed.

    "He did try to bite one of our firefighters while we were trying to get him to the ground," said Margetts.

    None of the firefighters were injured. 

    Margetts said he credits that to having a fully staffed engine responding to the call.

    "We were lucky enough to have enough bodies on scene to appropriately keep this individual from hurting not only us but from hurting himself or other family members," Margetts added.

    Chula Vista Fire recently received a grant that will go towards staffing four of their engines full time with four firefighters. The ultimate goal is to staff all of their engines that way throughout the department.

    The patient was not identified by fire officials but NBC 7 learned the man once trained and competed as an MMA fighter.

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