A Calgary paramedic is undergoing surgery on Monday, after a dangerous takedown at a home in the community of Parkhill last week.
Three paramedics were allegedly assaulted while treating an apparent drug overdose.
According to Emergency Medical Services (EMS), the patient became violent and one paramedic had their finger broken. All three practitioners remain off-duty, recuperating from various injuries.
“One practitioner will be requiring surgical repair to a significantly injured finger. The injuries obviously resulted in that physical altercation. The other two practitioners still remain off-duty,” Adam Loria, with EMS, said.
It happened in the 3900 block of Stanley Road S.W. at around 8 a.m.
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EMS said incidents like this are a reminder of the unique risks their first responders face every day.
“That scene turned unsafe very quickly,” Loria said. “It happens and yes it’s an inherent part of our job and we do our best to mitigate it, but we do work in a very dangerous environment and things can happen in a moment’s notice.”
Loria said paramedics take a non-violent crisis intervention course when they’re hired but they also work closely with law enforcement and the dispatch centre to ensure the scenes are safe to the best of their ability.
EMS said all involved will have full support as a result of any traumatic event.
WATCH BELOW: An attack on paramedics, a lengthy standoff with police, and dramatic video showing how it ended. Mia Sosiak has more on a frightening incident in the southwest neighbourhood of Parkhill.
A man is facing criminal charges after the incident, Calgary police said Thursday.
“We believe it was a heroin overdose,” Staff Sgt. Peter Siegenthaler said. “EMS initially attended to check on him. A family member called us.”
Police said the investigation is ongoing and such incidents happen “frequently” for first responders.
“A medical distress call can easily turn into a struggle,” Siegenthaler said.
“We try to de-escalate it at any point, but it happens more often than we think that emergency personnel, fire, police and EMS get assaulted. That does happen.”
EMS have not confirmed how long the three practitioners will be off-duty for.