Chula Vista Fire Department Paramedic Back at Work After Being Attacked on the Job

CVPD: The patient was a burglary suspect who tried to escape by attacking the paramedic.

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A Chula Vista Fire Department paramedic is already back to work after he was attacked by a detained suspect in an ambulance early Wednesday.

The suspect was chased down by a K9 after officers saw him leaving a home on Hilltop Drive that he burglarized shortly after midnight on Oct. 26, according to the Chula Vista Police Department. He was being treated for dog bites in an ambulance when he broke out of his restraints and attacked the paramedic.

“He was punched,” explained Chula Vista Firefighters union president Darrell Roberts. “He was violently attacked in a small area while trying to provide care.”

Chula Vista police said they were able to capture the suspect again. Roberts said the paramedic is OK and already back to work. However, Roberts said it’s an example of a growing trend.

“Literally every day you can open up a headline somewhere in the country and you’re seeing our folks being attacked,” said Roberts.

Firefighters in Seattle recently reported 40 attacks in four months. In 2019, the Journal for Emergency Medical Services said roughly 2,000 firefighters, EMTs and paramedics are injured in violent attacks every year.

Roberts feared those numbers are worse three years later. He added firefighters and paramedics don’t always report attacks and chalk them up to being part of the job.

“From communicable disease, to fires, to traffic accidents, and now we’re talking about physical assaults on our members,” shrugged Roberts. “We need to draw attention to it to make sure we can provide resources.”

Roberts said firefighters will always need training to either deescalate confrontations or protect themselves.

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