An FDNY paramedic needed four stitches to the face after being bitten by an emotionally disturbed patient in Brooklyn -- an attack she will recover from physically but that will leave her scarred for life, a top EMS official said Friday.
The attack happened the night before, when emergency medical services members responded to a 911 call about a patient with "altered mental status" on Haring Street in Manhattan Beach. Once they arrived, the patient allegedly lunged down the steps and attacked the now injured paramedic, biting her on the cheek.
Other EMS members grabbed hold of the patient to start treatment -- and the injured paramedic, who has seven years with the department, according to sources, continued to treat the patient as well -- FDNY officials said.
"The injuries sustained by our paramedic are horrific. 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," FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said in a statement Friday.
Law enforcement sources tell News 4 Thursday night's case was the third such attack in the last month. Another EMS member was bitten on the thumb during a call Feb. 27, while a firefighter responding to an EMS call was slammed into a wall earlier last month, the sources said.
Police say the 17-year-old suspect in the latest case faces three counts of assault. Sources say she appeared to be high on drugs and had to be heavilyu sedated after the attack.
Anthony Almojera, vice president of local 3621 FDNY EMS officers' union, used the most recent case to deliver a message -- and a stark reminder.
"Every call we go on can be our last. The dangers are everywhere," Almojera tweeted Friday. "All the more reason we deserve the same pay and benefits as the other 911 agencies."