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Mon EMS aims to provide body armor to workers after recent stabbing occurred on ambulance

Published: Dec. 10, 2021 at 6:45 PM EST
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - Monongalia County EMS is looking to add to their uniforms, and it’s a call for an extra layer of protection.

They’re asking for help in hopes of receiving funding to provide workers with body armor. The price for this protection is a pretty penny. Executive Director, Forest Weyen, says it could cost anywhere between $80,000-$100,000, but he says it’s worth it.

“We have nearly 150 staff working for us and it’s just a huge expense mid-budget year that we’re trying to find a solution for,” Weyen said. “We reached out to a few charitable organizations and the county, trying to find a way to get our providers an additional layer of safety.”

Back in November a few of their providers were injured and one EMT was stabbed three times by 30-year-old, David Bandy of Texas who was also wanted on warrants in Pennsylvania.

“It had an impact not only on the providers that were injured, but also just the rest of the staff and the rest of the public safety community,” he said.

First responders face a variety of challenges with patients and it’s unknown when it can turn violent Weyen said, especially when it doesn’t start that way.

“We have to be prepared for any situation. It could be someone who’s overdosed and we’ve reversed, and now they’ve woken up and all of a sudden are confused about why they’re there. It could be an elderly patient who’s confused about why people are in their house,” he said.

Regardless of the situation, Weyen said it’s not worth risking the lives of those who are only here to help others.

“One of our biggest focuses is to make sure our folks, in addition to being safe, that they do go home at the end of the day and that we give them every opportunity to do so.”

Weyen said he’s unsure how long this process will be, for now they’re doing the best they can. Weyen also told 5 News that the EMT who was injured is doing okay and is continuing their recovery.

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