A Milwaukee Fire Department firefighter was grazed by a bullet and an ambulance was struck by bullets in the vicinity of North 40th Street and West Lisbon on July 6.
The Milwaukee Fire Department was dispatched to near North 40th Street on July 6 at 12:08 AM to assist a patient with trouble breathing.
MFD personnel treated and were in the process of transferring patient care to Curtis Ambulance when shots were fired in the direction of the first responders.
Several rounds struck the ambulance and one struck an MFD firefighter. The firefighter suffered a graze wound to the right side of his head.
The firefighter was taken to the hospital for treatment and was released.
The firefighter and firefighting crew will continue to receive support for any physical and psychological affects.
“Milwaukee firefighters have a difficult and dangerous job and we are committed to serving our citizens. This incident will serve to heighten our awareness but will not stop us from providing needed emergency medical care to our citizens,” stated Chief Rohlfing.
The Firefighter's union addressed, today, their concerns for safety and asked for more money for the department.
All emergency responders involved in the incident are also receiving physical and psychological support.
Crews said they are no longer just delivering patients, and trying to save lives.
They said they are now have the added worry of not being shot.
The drivers of Curtis Ambulance, almost became the victims themselves.
Dan Robakowski Vice President of Operations said his crews became the target of a shooting after responding to a medical call.
\"It really is not a safe for EMTs anymore,\" Robakowski said.
The same crew witnessed a homicide last week.
He said that the shooting, was the second one in a week. It was right outside of the ambulance company's door.
Crews still jumped into help but were unable to save the patient.
\"At this point you never really know what you're going into,\" Robakowski said.
He said the company has been seeing more violence out on the job, and crews are distressed. Curtis Ambulance is now investing in bullet proof vests for the EMTs.
Therapists are available for the crews for the recent threats.
\"We're making sure to bring in a critical incident stress debriefing team to talk to anybody who wants to talk,\" Robakowski said.
He said a job that was designed to help people, is now becoming dangerously close to needing help themselves.
\"We don't have the training to respond to active shooter situation,\" Robakowski said.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett issued this statement:
“I am extremely grateful for the work the men and woman of the Milwaukee Fire Department perform on behalf of the citizens of Milwaukee. They put their lives on the line every day.
My thoughts and prayers are with the injured fire fighter and his family. It angers me that he became a victim of violence. The incident was a brazen and outrageous criminal act.
The Milwaukee Fire Department and the Milwaukee Police Department have a long-standing interest in promoting the safety of all our emergency response personnel.
We have worked with Fire Department leadership to maintain staffing levels that continue to provide excellent response times. No budget action has closed a fire house. The combined Fire and Police department budgets equal 61% of the City’s total operating budget and we will continue to work with our public safety leadership to promote and improve the safety for our fire fighters and all emergency responders.”
Alderman Terry L. Witkowski released the following statement on the shooting.
It is outrageous and reprehensible that someone would open fire on ANY city workers, but especially caregivers who are trying to render aid to someone in serious need.
But that is exactly what occurred early this morning (12:08 a.m.) when Milwaukee Fire Department personnel responded to a residence near N. 40th St. and W. Lisbon Ave. to help a person who was having trouble breathing.
As the caregivers were attempting to place the person safely in a private ambulance for transport to a hospital, shots were fired in their direction by an unknown person. Several rounds struck the ambulance, and one round struck one of our firefighters. The firefighter suffered a graze wound to the right side of his head.
I am relieved to have learned that the firefighter’s wound was not as serious as it could have been, and I pray that he will be OK.
As chair of the Common Council’s Public Safety Committee (and as a lifelong resident of Milwaukee), it is unconscionable to think that someone would open fire in the direction of caregivers. These critical caregivers are trained to help people and to save lives, and putting their lives and safety in jeopardy under any circumstances is an affront to ALL Milwaukee citizens.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to please call Milwaukee Police at 414-935-7360.