NY law makes assaults on medics a felony

This bill amends the law to provide stronger protection than ever before for EMTs, paramedics and EMS officers

Any assault against on-duty EMS personnel will become a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison under a new law announced today by Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro, State Senator Martin J. Golden, Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol and union representatives.

"Individuals who set out each day to save lives need to know they are protected by the law,” Lentol said. "I am proud of this legislation which protects New York’s heroes who selflessly give of themselves for the sole purpose of saving someone else."

This year, there have been 73 instances of EMTs, paramedics and EMS officers having been attacked while on duty. In 2014, 78 assaults were reported.

"EMTs and paramedics should never be assaulted while performing their difficult lifesaving work," said Nigro.  "These men and women deserve our protection and respect. I want to thank Senator Golden, Assemblyman Lentol, District Attorney Thompson, and the many other elected officials and union leaders – in particular Vincent Variale and Israel Miranda – who worked so hard to create this law aimed at better protecting our 3,000 EMS members."

Introduced earlier this year by Senator Golden, the chair of the New York Senate Civil Service and Pensions Committee, Bill S. 4839 was signed into law by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Nov. 20, 2015. This bill amends the law to provide stronger protection than ever before for EMTs, paramedics and EMS officers, who, while performing their assigned duties, are attacked with intent of bodily harm. This law takes effect Feb. 18, 2016.

"Emergency medical service paramedics and technicians are required to treat patients under extremely dangerous and stressful conditions, and deliberate, violent attacks against these public servants are, sadly, not uncommon," said Golden. "Therefore, EMS paramedics and technicians should be offered every protection under the law. This bill ensures that, in those cases in which there is proof that an individual intended to injure one of these professionals while on duty, that perpetrator can be prosecuted as a felon. We must do everything in our power to protect those who are there for us in times of need."

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