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Home > Topics > Safety
February 14, 2013
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EMS News in Focus
by Arthur Hsieh

"Exceptional" people don't try and kill EMTs

Michael Jaccarino was sentenced to 10 days community service for hitting and choking a responder

By Arthur Hsieh

"The defendant lived an exceptional life for 30 years." Those were the words of the lawyer representing the  Brooklyn prosecutor who pleaded guilty Wednesday to reckless assault in an attack on an EMT, but escaped a jail term.

"Lived an exceptional life for 30 years"?! Yeah, except for when he was trying to kill an EMT. I guess in New York that's considered part of living an exceptional life.  

I suppose it didn't hurt that the defendant was a prosecutor, being prosecuted by a... right, another prosecutor.

You might guess that this is a little upsetting. I was reserving judgment on the case, waiting to see if there would be a common sense sentence associated with the crime.

I mean, most folks who are so drunk out of their minds that they perform stupid acts usually receive some form of incarceration time, as punishment.

Or, some monetary fine to pay back the victim who was impacted by the drunkard's actions.

Unless of course you belong to the same group of folks who help to make these decisions.

"Community time" apparently is appropriate for someone like that. Or for someone who has a good defense attorney. Oh wait, aren't they all…lawyers?

If you think I'm just a little frosted by this, you win. EMS providers must be afforded the same level of protection as other public safety providers.

The laws must apply fairly to all citizens, regardless of rank or privilege. This verdict shows that, at least in New York, it's not.

Just listen to the words of the EMT, Teresa Soler. “I basically thought he was going to kill me. . . . He had his arm on my neck and he had me pinned with his knee on my stomach," she said.

“I couldn’t scream. I couldn’t call for help. I couldn’t swallow.”

 


About the author

EMS1 Editor in Chief Art Hsieh, MA, NREMT-P currently teaches at the Public Safety Training Center, Santa Rosa Junior College in the Emergency Care Program. In the profession since 1982, Art has worked as a line medic and chief officer in the private, third service and fire-based EMS. He has directed both primary and EMS continuing education programs. Art is a published textbook author, has presented at conferences nationwide, and continues to provide patient care at a rural hospital-based ALS system. Contact Art at Art.Hsieh@ems1.com.
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