BOSTON - A state database reveals personal information about some health care workers, who say they’re worried about potential violence following them home.
Bob St. Martin is a paramedic who made a troubling discovery earlier this month when he found a link to download his personal information online.
“We have to re-certify every couple of years, so I was online checking recertification dates,” St. Martin explained. “It said ‘download information.’ I clicked on it and saw I got more information than I was expecting.”
He was surprised to find not just his name and license number, but his complete home address on the state's licensure verification database. It's a piece of information he says puts him and his family in a vulnerable and possibly even dangerous position.
“Violence in the medical field has been increasing over the last couple of years -- a lot. And people can get really hurt. We don't see a reason why anybody needs to know our home addresses,” St. Martin said.
In fact, a 2016 study found EMTs are 14 times more likely to be assaulted on the job than the firefighters they often work with.
It's not just EMTs with their home addresses available on line. Nurses, pharmacists and many other medical professionals all use the same license verification system.
But it goes even beyond that.
St. Martin is pulled up the home address of a Mass. State Police officer who is also an EMT.
A few clicks and you got all the information you need.
We were able to do the same thing with a local police department where several officers are EMTs.
“This shouldn't be. It's scary,” he said.
The state department of public health oversees the database.
In a statement, the department told Boston 25 news "it requires a mailing address or ‘license address’ for all of the certifications and licenses it issues and that information is considered a public record."
However, the department says that license address does not have to be a home address and that, in fact, many applicants use a work address.
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