First responders practice safety when responding to calls

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Wichita Falls paramedics are being reminded to be safe after police said an EMT was punched in the face while responding to a call early Wednesday morning.

Paramedics said anytime they are called to respond to a scene they are trained to prepare for the worst-case scenario.

Wichita Falls firefighter, John Carroll said fire crews are usually the first to the scene as certified paramedics of any first responder call because of the number of stations they have in different parts of the city.

"You don't know what you're going to get," said Carroll.

He said safety is the top priority and it all starts before they even leave the station.

"We have to drive smart, drive safe, and be aware of anything," said Carroll.

Once at the scene, paramedics have to be aware of their surroundings and know that anything can happen.

They are able to benefit with help from AMR and police.

"The officers are talking to dispatch on the way so when we get to the scene," said Carroll. "Officers do a walk around to see if there any hazards we need to know."

If paramedics find themselves in a situation where a patient is fighting back the key is to not leave the EMT alone.

"A couple of us will ride with them in the ambulance to make sure nothing happens," said Carroll.

The most important thing a paramedic can do is what they were taught.

"Go step by step," said Carroll.  "Think about the kind of call whenever you're on the way to the call.  Communication is important."

There are also ways you can help first responders.

The fire department wants to remind everyone that when driving if you see emergency lights, pull over and let those vehicles pass.

This summer, Texas legislature passed a bill that allows first responders to carry guns with them when responding to calls.

Newschannel 6 asked the Wichita Falls Fire Department if their staff would start to carry. Officials said right now, they do not see a need for first responders to carry.

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