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Concerns About Firefighter Safety Magnified After Shooting

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DALLAS (CBS11) -A paramedic who was shot by a gunman in Dallas Monday continues recovering on Tuesday after being hit two times with bullets from a rifle on Monday while responding to a shooting call.

Investigators said Dallas Fire-Rescue paramedic William An was shot while trying to save the life of a civilian who had been shot by the same man.

Police identified the gunman as Derick Brown. After a lengthy standoff, a police robot found Brown’s body and the body of roommate Arthur Riggins.

“This is a direct result of a have a reduced police staffing in this city,” said Lt. Cristian Hinojosa with the Dallas Hispanic Firefighters Association

Hinojosa said his firetrucks and ambulances are often the first to arrive to a scene.

“Almost every shift,” said Hinojosa.

The call to respond often comes down to the responding firefighters and paramedics, said Hinojosa.

“We have to treat the shooting victim. So what do we do? We have to analyze the information we have on scene, make a decision,” said Hinojosa. “Do we enter? Who’s here? What resources do we have? Are the cops here? And many times they’re not.”

Dallas Fire-Rescue has body armor but the equipment is stored in a separate responding vehicle.

“We rely on our police forces to provide protection,” said Hinojosa.

Sgt. Mike Mata with the Dallas Police Association released a statement regarding the situation.

“Unfortunately all too often because of rising crime and the lowering of staffing levels, police response lags behind our fire counterparts. And as reminded by yesterday’s actions, a single, lone gunman’s acts of violence can create a tragedy and loss of life. We as a department must find a way to do better,” wrote Mata.

In the last 18 months, 697 officers have left the Dallas Police Department.

A spokesperson for Mayor Mike Rawlings said the office did not want to comment at the moment.

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