Boston EMTs Given Self-Defense Training After Two Attacks Last Month

BOSTON – One month after a Boston emergency medical technician was stabbed multiple times by a patient, their fellow EMTs and paramedics are getting specialized self-defense training at the union office. 

Racing to a scene in an ambulance to help someone can be a dangerous job.

“They may be thinking, ‘this person isn’t trying to help me,'” said Michel Jean Juste.

EMTs and paramedics can be targets. Two EMT attacks last month prompted the EMS division of the Boston Patrolmen’s Association – a union – to hire Shawn Marando to teach a unique form of self-defense.

Marando, a Boston Police officer adapted portions of the Korean Martial art, Hapkido in a way that could be used by police, and first responders and began calling it ‘Copkido.’ It’s adapted specifically for police and first responders.

‘Copkido’ is designed to teach techniques such as breakaways to get away cleanly from someone you’d be able to strike. 

“To use a baton against someone and actually strike them, I disagree,” Marando said.

“Being able to restrain someone, so they don’t hurt you and you don’t hurt them,” said Lt. Tania MacNeil of Boston EMS.