Local EMS taking more precautions after recent violence

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CARLISLE, Pa.– Emergency medical technicians in our area are being more cautious when responding to calls these days, after shootings nationwide and the recent stabbing of an EMT in Harrisburg.

Providers at Cumberland Goodwill EMS in Carlisle, Cumberland County take a few steps to ensure their safety. They work with police, who secure the scene before they enter.

Many providers also learn self-defense to better protect themselves.
They say that’s important because more and more emergency calls involve patients who are under the influence or mentally ill without medication.

“Those patients who would normally have received care elsewhere, are now becoming EMS responsibilities, not only are we seeing increased call volume, but we’re also seeing these dangerous situations that put providers at risk,” says Assistant Chief Nathan Harig, with Cumberland Goodwill Fire Company.

There is also much talk about body armor. Cumberland Goodwill does not provide it to its emergency medical technicians because of the cost and the upkeep, however they can purchase it on their own.

Assistant Chief Harig says body armor to protect against stab wounds is different from gunshot body armor, and both need to be replaced about every five years.
The cost to outfit his entire staff would be between $20,000 and $50,000.