How a FF/Paramedic recovered from a violent on-duty attack

New EMS1 article…Leaning against a trolley stop railing, unable to take a breath and sensing the blood running down his back, firefighter/paramedic Ben Vernon felt anger begin to boil up inside. He had just been stabbed — a victim in a knife fight he didn’t even know he was in — and that anger would grow and worsen for weeks to come.

Vernon and his partner, firefighter/paramedic Alex Wallbrett, were both stabbed by a bystander as they attempted to assess and treat a man with an unknown medical problem in downtown San Diego in late June 2015. “I was in rescue mode, not fight mode,” Vernon said, describing the incident.

For weeks afterward, Vernon was maddened and perplexed by the incident because of the perfect and “blessed” trajectory of his career, from aimless college graduate to a highly trained firefighter, paramedic and rescue technician.

Read the full story on EMS1 about firefighter/paramedic, the incident when he was stabbed, his difficult recovery and his return to work.

Stabbed on duty: A medic’s lessons learned on the long road back

By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.