EMS workers are “sitting ducks,” one union chief said days after an EMS medic was stabbed multiple times by a deranged patient in her ambulance.
The 25-year-old Mount Sinai West FDNY EMT was hacked with a kitchen knife while en route to a hospital near West 58th Street and 9th Avenue on Wednesday night, police said.
Violence against EMS workers has become “all too common,” said Bryn Lloyd-Bollard, spokesman for 1199SEIU, United Healthcare Workers East, which represents the injured worker.
“The horrific stabbing of an EMT by her patient underscores the dangers faced by emergency medical workers every day,” Lloyd-Bollard continued, adding, “New York must do all it can to ensure that these frontline heroes are able to do their jobs free from the threat of physical harm.”
Another EMS union boss said his workers are easily targeted.
“All of our units are staged at street corners. We’re sitting ducks,” said Oren Barzilay, head of Local 2507 representing ambulance EMTs and paramedics, which are not contracted out by the FDNY.
Barzilay said his troops have dealt with “roughly 110” assaults so far this year, mostly by patients.
The EMS worker suffered “significant” blood loss and nerve damage to her thigh that requires additional surgery, prosecutors revealed Friday.
The alleged assailant, Rudy Garcia, 48, was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court on an attempted murder charge for allegedly stabbing the first responder in the arm, chest and leg, prosecutors said.
Fire officials said 121 FDNY EMS workers have been attacked this year through Thursday; Last year that number, which does not account for volunteer or private ambulance services, was 277. In 2021, the figure was 333, the FDNY said.
After Garcia was taken into custody, he bizarrely told a detective the EMTs treating him “are fake” and “kidnapped” him and argued he didn’t need medical attention, prosecutors said. Garcia is being held on $500,000 cash bail.
Dramatic footage obtained by The Post showed the chaotic aftermath of Wednesday’s attack.
“I don’t know what happened,” Garcia can be heard saying in the video.
“You stabbed her, bro!” an EMS worker shouts back.
Fumed Barzilay: “We’ve had people coming out of nowhere assaulting us, throwing bricks…We’re vulnerable as we have no tools to defend ourselves.”
In September, a beloved FDNY lieutenant was stabbed to death by a maniac on a Queens street in an unprovoked attack that occurred as she went to grab food, authorities said.