NEW BRIGHTON, Staten Island (PIX11) — Emergency Medical Technician Richard McMahon left Richmond University Medical Center in a wheelchair, and with a bagpiper playing on Thursday, as a crowd of other EMTs and well wishers cheered him on.

It was the latest chapter in a remarkable 20-hour stretch that saw him going from being a first responder to needing medical aid himself, after a patient allegedly shot McMahon while the EMT was helping the patient out, according to police. 

McMahon, 25, was in the back of an ambulance transporting patient Thomas McCauley, 37, to the hospital, when McCauley allegedly pulled out a gun and shot McMahon in the shoulder around 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday.

Now, McCauley is a criminal defendant, according to the Staten Island district attorney, and McMahon is recovering from the gunshot.  Meanwhile, other EMTs say that the assault is part of a larger, and growing pattern of danger that they face.

Anthony Almojera, vice president of the FDNY EMS union, said in an interview that assaults on first responders continue to increase.

“Our numbers from last year have gone up 100 percent,” he said in an interview. “Over a hundred percent,” he added. 

Almojera also said that prosecutions are very rare, and when they do happen, they are very slow. FDNY EMT Yadira Arroyo was killed five years ago when Jose Gonzalez allegedly hijacked her ambulance and ran over her.

“The one who perpetrated that on her still has not been been brought to justice,” said Almojera, “still is going to court proceedings, has not even gone to trial yet.” 

As for Richard McMahon, the EMT injured in Wednesday night’s shooting, he got up from his wheelchair as he was being released from the hospital, showing that his prospects for a full recovery are strong. 

As he emerged from the hospital, McCauley being sent to court to be arraigned in connection with the shooting. A list of charges is pending, according to the district attorney.