Violence against first responders has increased since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, according to D.C.’s acting chief of DC Fire & EMS (FEMS), John Donnelly, who said he’s still trying to come to grips with an incident Sunday where a firefighter/EMT was injured in a shooting.
The shooting came just as D.C. FEMS is preparing to issue a new directive making it clear that firefighters/EMTs should not go into certain situations without police to secure the scene first.
“We go out and help people, and we don't expect to be shot at," Chief Donnelly said Monday. "We expect to at least be welcome to help people. When you're shot at, that changes the dynamics a little bit. But our people are going to continue to go help people. They are service-oriented, that's what they do."
Sunday’s shooting happened as DC FEMS and police were tending to a shooting victim at a 7-Eleven on South Capitol Street and MLK Boulevard SE. While on the scene, gunfire broke out again.