National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Austin, Texas – A new report indicates nearly 63 percent of all Austin-Travis County EMS (ATCEMS) medics have been assaulted more than once in the past two years.
The service conducted the study earlier this year after seeing an increase in violence against medics worldwide.
A total of 210 medics in the field and 26 communications staff responded to the survey. Of those responded, 132 medics and 26 working in communications said they were assaulted on the job.
The report notes it is likely those numbers are underreported.
According to the report, most of the attacks on medics happened in the back of ambulances. Communications staff reported being verbally assaulted on the phone.
“It is estimated that even these high numbers do not reflect the true magnitude of assaults on ATCEMS personnel because assaults are likely under-reported and only cases involving injuries are reported most commonly,” the report said.
The survey found patients being impaired, aggressive or having mental or behavioral health issues were the leading causes of assaults.
The report found 69 percent of medics in the field said assaults are an unavoidable part of the job. Likewise, 94 percent of those in communication agree.
The goal is to have zero assaults on public servants, according to the report.
The department said it will focus on better reporting, training and work with law enforcement on de-escalation techniques.
Click here to read the survey results.