Detroit medics stabbed, in serious condition

An agitated male assailant wounded both medics before they were able to escape with 'horrific' injuries

DETROIT —Two Detroit paramedics were seriously injured Tuesday morning when a male assailant, described as "agitated," repeatedly slashed and stabbed their faces and hands with a sharp object.

The Detroit Free Press reports that paramedic Alfredo Rojas, on the department for two years, was attacked first. His partner, paramedic Kelly Adams, with 13-years of service, was attacked when she attempted to help him. The paramedics were able to escape to their vehicle and drive themselves to Detroit Receiving Hospital, where CBS Detroit reported that both medics are in serious condition.

"It was a horrific scene. The scene inside of the rig is horrific. Their injuries are horrific," said interim Fire Commissioner Eric Jones. "Both of the EMTs are going to require some extensive surgeries. The injuries — they came to within inches of dying."

The paramedics were responding to a report of a woman with an ankle injury at about 12:30 a.m. They found the woman and the assailant at the curb near an organization that helps homeless people.

"They were together on the sidewalk when EMS arrived,” Jones told reporters. "The male subject was upset at the assessment of the EMTs so as they were treating her — I can’t get inside of his head, I don’t know what he was agitated about, but he was upset for some reason — and at some point during the encounter, he produced this weapon."

It is not clear what caused the man to attack the paramedics. The man fled the scene and police are searching for him.

Jones said he plans to meet with Detroit Police Chief James Craig to discuss training for medics to prevent another attack like this from happening in the future.

"I understand the situation that the men and women of the Detroit Fire Department and the Detroit EMS are experiencing and I am working aggressively to get them the training and the equipment that they need," Jones said. "They’re working in some dangerous conditions … they’re concerned. I mean, police officers are concerned, firefighters are concerned, EMTs are concerned. They’re professionals but it is dangerous and they go into some very dangerous situations."


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