Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

In face of increased danger on the job, paramedics send 'plea for help' to leadership

Hennepin County EMS are asking for more support as they are increasingly targets of attacks

Two blocks away from a gunfight, Dmitriy Stalmakov pulled over and looked at where a bullet had ricocheted off the back of his ambulance. If it had hit 2 inches higher, the 28-year-old paramedic doesn't know if he'd be here to tell the story.

"If it would have pierced the door, it would have went straight into my back," said Stalmakov.

Over the past three years, emergency medical responders in Hennepin County say they've witnessed an unnerving rise in violence that's made the job more dangerous at a time when surging call volumes already are stretching the workforce thin. A week after getting caught in the middle of the shooting in downtown Minneapolis, someone hurled a vodka bottle that shattered on Stalmakov's ambulance windshield as he was racing through south Minneapolis. In the dark, he said, he mistook the thud for a shotgun blast that had just blown through the window.


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