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Chronically underpaid EMTs are being assaulted at record rates

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If Upton Sinclair were to write the modern equivalent to “The Jungle,” he might make the setting the metaphorical meat grinder of today’s emergency medical services industry.

Across the nation, emergency medical service professionals, the front-line workforce upon which so much of a patient outcome rests, are grossly underpaid for brutal work schedules that put them at risk of both serious physical injury and burnout.

The cherry on the top of this abuse sundae is that they are 14 times more likely to be violently assaulted on the job than a firefighter.

In 2017, FDNY Paramedic Yadira Arroyo was murdered on the job, allegedly by a homeless man with serious mental health issues. In summer 2019, a Boston emergency medical technician (EMT) survived after being stabbed multiple times, These workers are in harm’s way, yet make nowhere near their fellow first responders, namely, cops and firefighters.

And like cops, EMTs are forced to deal with the people that much of society avoids: the homeless, the mentally ill, and folks in the throes of alcohol and drug addiction. Across the country, the everyday violence directed towards EMTs has led to some being issued body armor. Yet........

© Salon