Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Well I feel better.

I came across this bit of news on the local front today.

Legislation passed by the House could better protect paramedics from violent patients.
The proposed bill would consider attacks a felony, and land offender in prison up to two years.

The House passed the measure passed unanimously , and now its up to the Senate to approve.

Meantime, Tulsa EMSA paramedics are arming themselves with self-defense tactics. Per EMSA policy, paramedics do not carry guns. Though some medics do wear bullet proof vests.

Last year, 26 EMSA paramedics were attacked, and 14 were critically injured.

"I've been hit, I've been kicked, I've been spit at," said Paramedic, Chris Stevens. "We don't want to be too aggressive, but then again we don't want to end up in the hospital ourselves."

EMSA Spokeswoman, Tina Wells said she expects the proposed bill to be passed sometime this week.

I think the author of this article has mistaken protect with punish. Protecting EMS personnel would involve preventing attacks. All this will do is punish the offender after the fact. I'm sure a paramedic put in the hospital and missing work and pay will feel much better. Since assault and/or battery are already illegal, this is just another example of feel good/do nothing legislation. Way to status quo.

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