MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — To say paramedics and EMT’s have had it rough during the pandemic may be the understatement of the year. But, what happened to some of them one Saturday night last February is still hard for some of them to shake.
“It’s not easy to forget,” said EMT Kyle Burke. “It’s still on my mind but I’m getting through it.”
On Tuesday, a ceremony was held at Hunters Ambulance in Meriden to salute all of the workers there, but four in particular.
Kyle Burke, Lenny Zapor, Erik Larson, and Peter Zera. All had something to do with protecting each other and alerting police about a disgruntled former employee, 37 year-old Richard White.
White was Kyle Burke’s partner that day. Burke alerted people back at Hunters Ambulance in Meriden that something just wasn’t right.
“The individual got confrontational with a civilian,” Burke said. “I called my Operations Supervisor, which was Deputy Chief Larson, and told him I needed him and police at the scene immediately. “
Earlier that day, White had been disciplined at work.
Burke said White had an altercation with him and trapped him in their ambulance. That’s when another employee, Lenny Zapor, came to Burke’s aid.
“I subdued the attacker,” Zapor said. “I brought him to the ground. “Meanwhile, I’m yelling to Kyle get out of here!”
“I have nothing but the most utmost respect and gratitude for Lenny,” Burke said. “To me, he’s my hero.”
White was eventually caught in Pennsylvania. He was brought back to Connecticut and now appearing in court as the legal case against him proceeds. Meanwhile, at today’s ceremony, Meriden Mayor Kevin Scarpati calling the other EMT’s and paramedics heroes for what they endured on February 27 and what they endure every single day on the frontlines of this pandemic.
“We could sit here and give awards and thanks and praise and talk with them but never fully understand what goes into being an EMT,” he said. “(They’re) making our community a safer and better place to live.”