PASO ROBLES, Calif. -- An Emergency Medical Technician was stabbed while on call in Arroyo Grande Tuesday night leading to a five hour stand-off with San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's deputies.
38-year-old Thomas Kadota is under arrest for assault with a deadly weapon. He's accused of stabbing an EMT a home on Left Lane in rural Arroyo Grande.
Deputies say the suspect called for medical help for his mother just before 10pm.
The EMT was stabbed in the back and is at home recovering from his injuries.
San Luis Ambulance says this is the first stabbing they've ever experienced and although this is rare, emergency responders have techniques in place to make sure they're safe.
When answering an emergency call, the first priority of a responder is their safety.
"As son as he walks in, the captain usually has his clipboard. He's the one in charge of the scene making sure the scene is safe," says Cal Fire Emergency Medical technician Ben Graves. "He stands between us and the patient most of the time, while the engineers or firefighters or whoever we got with us, take care of the patient assessment."
But for one San Luis Ambulance EMT that assessment turned dangerous.
"It's not all that frequent but you never know when it's going to happen," says Cal Fire Chief John Richardson. "Because it's a highly stressful thing especially it it's a family disturbance or any kind of incident that involves family."
That's why emergency responders are trained to use certain techniques to keep them safe.
"Law enforcement will clear the scene or accompany us into the scene prior to us providing assistance to the person that had called," says San Luis Ambulance General Manager Chris Jayvine. Some emergency responders can even get a bit creative using their big heavy bags and gear as protection.
"(It) can get between us and a patient if we had to," says Graves. "It can be used to block. It's big, heavy and it can protect us."
A technique they hopefully won't have to use very often.
"It makes you think that it can happen anytime," says Richardson. "To any of us."
Richardson says in the past 30 years, he's never seen an EMT attacked while responding to a call.
He says severe situations, they usually hold stress debriefings and after-action reviews to make sure everyone understands the precautions and that Cal Fire doesn't get lax on their security.
Wednesday, June 5 2013 5:40 PM EDT2013-06-05 21:40:27 GMT
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