EMT Advocates For Enhanced Safety Measures After Upper West Side Stabbing

mount sinai west emt stabbed

Mount Sinai West

Julia Fatum, an EMT stabbed while responding to a cardiac arrest call on the Upper West Side last July, has launched a petition to improve safety measures for fellow EMT and EMS staff. The petition demands increased protections for emergency response workers, as well as swift justice after instances of violence and aggression.

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Rudy Garcia, 48 at the time of the incident, was picked up on 94th and Amsterdam Avenue on a cardiac arrest call. While Fatum, then 25, was treating him in an ambulance en route to Mt. Sinai at West 59th Street, Garcia stabbed her eight times in the arms, legs, and chest.

Garcia was indicted in August 2023 on charges of Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, Assault in the First Degree, and Assault in the Second Degree.

Almost a year after the attack, Fatum has still not returned to work. In an article published by the New York Post, Fatum recounts her harrowing ordeal and describes how the attack left her with nerve damage in her arm and “lingering PTSD [and] nightmares.”

While her attack is a more extreme case, Fatum told the New York Post that violence against EMT workers is all too common. “Not all cases of violence against [EMTs] get as much attention because mine was more severe than a lot of them, but it happens every day – from being spit on to being punched to being stabbed.”

Fatum’s Change.org petition states, “Policies and procedures need to change, and we need to be protected.” It outlines five key safety measures EMS agencies should implement, including issuing bulletproof and stab-proof vests, increasing criminal penalties for assaults, and an accessible protocol for reporting incidents.

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“There is a huge disparity in the treatment and protection of EMS providers compared to other first responders and healthcare professionals,” Fatum writes in the petition. She calls for signage clearly outlining punishments for violence against staff, which she says are commonplace in hospitals but not in ambulances. Fatum also draws attention to EMS providers’ reluctance to defend themselves during attacks for fear of losing their jobs or being accused of assault themselves.

The petition was launched on April 30 and is already garnering support with 557 signatures. You can learn more about the petition here.


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