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EDDINGTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- Each day emergency medical services workers across Maine take care of the sick and injured. Their jobs are vital but they also can be risky.

Across the nation EMTs and paramedics are increasingly becoming the victims of attacks and assaults. Those attacks mostly come from patients who are sick or under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

In response, some medical professionals are getting trained in self defense. Kip Teitsort is a longtime paramedic who also has a background in law enforcement. He now spends time teaching EMS workers how to reactwhen patients show aggression.

Teitsort says a big part of the training is learning if a patient is looking to do harm or just can't control his actions.

"A confused 40-year-old person from a post head injury...whose head a head injury in the past who now lives in a nursing home could grab you the same way a 40 year old high on bath salts does," he said, "our {EMS workers}response has to be different."

A study from the National Association of EMTs showed that more than half of responders who were surveyed had faced an attack on the job.