Ravena EMTs attacked during emergency call

RAVENA – When the call came into the Ravena Rescue Squad early Saturday, there was no reason for anyone to believe it would be anything other than a routine call, but then when you think about it, in this line of work, unexpected is routine.

Ravena EMTs attacked during emergency call

Three EMTs from the Ravena Rescue Squad were assaulted after responding to an emergency 911 call Saturday morning.

EMTs from the Ravena Rescue Squad respond to nearly 1,300 emergency calls every year. The one they responded to at 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning is a call they won’t soon forget.

“We responded to a local residence in the village of Ravena, and while they were attending to a patient while on scene, bystanders that were in the residence, they assaulted the crew that was there at the call,” said Travis Witbeck, Deputy Chief of the Ravena Rescue Squad.

One of the three EMTs attacked did sustain minor injuries, and was able to return to work later in the day, Witbeck said.

Due to HIPPA regulations, there’s little else he can say about the incident.

The problem is not rampant, said Witbeck, but it occurs more often than him or anyone else would like to see.

“Our people are our number one resource,” Witbeck said. “They’re the most important thing that we have. Ambulances don’t roll without the people, and patients don’t get treated without the people. So, whatever we have to do to keep them safe, that’s what we’re going to try and do within reason.

Witbeck sees it as a somewhat complicated societal problem, often driven by mental health issues.

While NewsChannel 13 was at the rescue squad Monday, the Village Pizzeria sent over some lunch in appreciation for what EMTs went through over the weekend and also because of what they do for the community every day.

“What we really need right now is that awareness, that these things do happen,” he said. “That awareness is what’s going to drive the change for us to start addressing these problems.”

The incident remains under police investigation.