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When will every EMT wear a body camera?

An EMT's attack of a restrained patient is a reminder for all leaders to discuss response to provocations and consider body-worn cameras to capture the EMS point-of-view

Police dragged EMT Deannah Williams, who was repeatedly punching a patient, out the side door of the ambulance. The male patient, 17, was handcuffed and restrained at the ankles.

Williams alleges he spit on her. There is something uniquely dehumanizing about being spit at by a patient.

"Spitting in someone's face is probably considered one of the worst things you can do,” said Ross Coomber, a professor with an interest in the sociology of spitting. “It's obviously a form of violence, very confrontational, perhaps the most violent you can be against someone without actually hitting them.”

We’ve all had patients provoke us because they are alcohol intoxicated, high on drugs, experiencing a behavioral emergency, or have malicious intent to cause injury. Meeting violence with violence is inexcusable, but what can we learn by watching WIlliams’ expletive-laden attack?


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