A paramedic is speaking out after being attacked by a young patient, who she says bit her in the face.
“No one realized that she bit me,” explained Jenna Piscitello, who has been an EMT with the Fire Department for seven years and a paramedic for nearly two years. “And I wasn’t screaming or anything like that because I was in shock, and I just wanted it to end, and then she finally let go.”
Piscitello suffered deep flesh wounds to her face after she says a teenage girl suddenly became violent around 2 A.M. Friday while she was working her usual overnight shift as a paramedic.
Piscitello says the attack took place as the teenage girl was being placed on a stretcher, outside a home on Haring Street in Sheepshead Bay.
“Once we had her, like, in the air is when she decided to wrap her legs around my torso, and her arms around my neck, and then just bit into my face, and did not let go [for] about 45 seconds to 60,” said Piscitello.
And while Piscitello loves her job, she and her union, FDNY EMS Local 2507, are now calling on the the department to offer formal training that includes self-defense, so that EMTs and paramedics will have some guidance on how to respond to possible threats.
“I didn’t know what to do in that situation,” Piscitello said. “I had a human being latched on to my face, digging her teeth into my flesh, because I didn’t know what to do because as much as she’s hurting me. I obviously did not want to physically hurt her back.”
In a statement to NY1, the FDNY did not address the call for self-defense and other training.
However, Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said, “The injuries sustained by our Paramedic are horrific. No one should be attacked while they are at work, and certainly not EMTs and paramedics, who respond to every incident with one mission – to save lives.”
Looking ahead, Piscitello hopes the Brooklyn DA’s office will press charges against the girl, even though she’s a minor.
She is also contemplating plastic surgery, once her wounds heal.