Common dangers faced by EMTs and paramedics while working

Jul 18 2017

Each year, thousands of our bravest and finest paramedics, EMTs and other first responders are injured while trying to help the community and do their jobs. Here are three common scenarios that put first responders at risk.

Vehicle crashes – A leading cause in fatalities for EMS workers

Perhaps the most dangerous peril ambulance drivers and paramedics face while on the job is crashes. Tragedy can strike in the rush to get the patient to a medical center. In fact, statistics show that automobile- and helicopter-related incidents are the leading cause of fatalities amongst those in the industry.

Aggressive patients

Another alarming danger to first responders is aggressive or disorderly patients. A patient may be suicidal, under the influence of substances, or mentally ill and refusing treatment. They can knowingly or unknowingly take their anger out on those trying to help. Certain jurisdictions even allow police and medical teams to refuse to respond to specific addresses marked as aggressive based on visits in the past.

First responders and employer negligence

Sadly, not all risks faced by first responders are due to patients or public negligence. Thousands of EMTs and paramedics are injured or killed each year due to employer negligence. This can range from something as simple as not having the proper safety protocols in place to vehicle maintenance issues that make transportation dangerous to hazardous living conditions (such as black mold) at local stations that cause serious illness.

Who is at fault in these situations?

While employers must take action to ensure their staff is safe, fault is a tricky concept and will vary based on the facts. Most first responders injured on-the-job can seek workers’ compensation for their injuries. Learn more on our page about workers’ compensation for emergency personnel.