SEOUL, May 3 (Korea Bizwire) — The National Fire Agency vowed Thursday to not tolerate violence against rescue workers after a female firefighter died of a stroke believed to be linked to stress from verbal and physical abuse she suffered from a drunken man.
The 51-year-old rescue worker, Kang Yeon-hee, died Tuesday, about a month after the 48-year-old man, surnamed Yoon, cursed and slapped her on the head and the face as he was taken by ambulance to a hospital in the southwestern city of Iksan.
Kang began vomiting and experiencing dizziness three days later. She was diagnosed with cerebral hemorrhage last week and underwent surgery but died. Her death has been widely reported to be tied to the stress she suffered as a result of Yoon’s abuse.
“Violence against rescue workers isn’t just violence against individuals, it is a serious crime that threatens the safety of our society,” a National Fire Agency official said. “We’re going to come up with strong punishment and preventive measures.”
According to data from the agency, 564 cases of violence against rescue workers happened between 2015 and 2017, with 183 people fined, 147 sentenced to prison terms and 134 others remaining under investigation.
The agency plans to organize a public campaign calling for ending violence against firefighters and rescue workers. It also plans to put together support measures for victims, such as taking victims off duty and providing them with medical treatment expenses.
The agency also plans to come up with training manuals on how to respond to violence, provide rescue workers with wearable cameras and equip ambulances with CCTVs and emergency buttons for alerting law enforcement officials about violence.