NEW YORK — A paramedic in New York is recovering after getting four stitches to her face when she was attacked and bitten while treating a patient in Brooklyn, officials said.
Paramedics responded to a call around 2 a.m. Thursday about a patient with an “altered mental status,” WNBC reported. When they arrived, the patient lunged down the steps, then attacked and bit Jenna Piscitello, WABC reported. Other first responders grabbed the 17-year-old patient and started treatment. Piscitello, 28, also continued to treat her.
The teen was arrested and charged with assault. Piscitello was taken to a hospital, where she received four stitches.
“The injuries sustained by our paramedic are horrific,” FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said in a statement Friday. “No one should be attacked when they are at work, and certainly not EMTs and paramedics who respond to every incident with one mission – to save lives.”
The attack was the third in the last month on a first responder, WNBC reported. A medic was bit on the thumb Feb. 27. A firefighter was slammed into a wall earlier in February.
“Every call we go on can be our last. The dangers are everywhere,” Anthony Almojera, vice president of the Local 3621 EMS officers’ union, said on social media. “All the more reason we deserve the same pay and benefits as the other 911 agencies.”
FDNY EMS union president Oren Barzilay said the attacks are more commonplace, WNYW reported.
“Here we are, once again, with one of our members badly injured. How much longer will our women and men be sent out on calls without having the proper tools to assist them?” Barzilay said in a statement. “This past week alone, over a dozen FDNY EMS Local 2507 members were assaulted, one even sustained a broken nose, another crew had a knife pulled on them and countless others suffered other injuries. When will our public officials come to our defense and offer EMS personnel protections?”