First responders face variety of dangers

The tragedy in New York underscores the risks taken on by emergency workers.

ST. PETERSBURG -- When they get the call, there's no hesitation. But danger could be waiting for first responders. 

"I was very upset when I saw what happened up in New York (Friday), moved to tears pretty much," said John Peterson, the chief administrative officer for Sunstar Paramedics, serving Pinellas county. 
 
He says EMTs face all sorts of risks: weather issues like lightning, plus traffic dangers and unruly people – even their patients. 
 
"One of the things we do is called crew resource management. It basically trains the crews to be aware of their situations, their surroundings, make sure that they see dangers and are able to react," he said. 
 
And don't even think of trying to steal a Sunstar ambulance; they have an anti-theft system that will stop you from taking off in one. 
 
"We do have that capability."
 
We already know police officers deal with dangerous individuals all the time. But so do first responders with St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue. Just within the last 24 hours, they dealt with a potentially dangerous situation and it had nothing to do with the fire. 
 
"He was not even involved in the case, started cussing at the firemen and there were some words exchanged," said Lt. Steve Lawrence with SPFR.
 
"He responded with 'Well, I'm going to go inside and get a firearm. At that point we notified the police to get an officer on the scene."
 
And such situations can slow down the emergency they are hoping to fix. 
 

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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