Two Winnipeg paramedics were forced to radio for help Thursday after the man they were transporting to hospital began threatening them with a hatchet.

The two paramedics picked up the man on Vaughn Street around 7:00 p.m., and while transferring the patient into the hospital, “the male produced a hatchet and began acting in a threatening manner towards the paramedics who were moving him,” Const. Rob Carver of Winnipeg Police said at a press conference.

One paramedic was in the front of the ambulance, the other in the back with the patient. The paramedic in the back “remained calm” and “kept a piece of equipment between him and the patient.”

Local police units responded to the radio calls from the paramedics and ended up using a Taser to disarm a 24-year-old suspect. He has since been charged with weapon related offences.

Local union president Ryan Woiden spoke to the two paramedics involved.

“The look on the patient’s eyes was described to me as though ‘he wanted to put the hatchet through my skull,’” he told CTV Winnipeg’s Gabrielle Marchand.

Emergency services said they are seeing an uptick of “incidents where are encountering people with weapons” in Winnipeg.

The union that represents paramedics said it has been pushing for “close quarter defense training” for six months “to ensure that all paramedics are trained to deal with a situation such as this,” said President Michelle Gawronsky.

Police say they believe drugs or intoxicating substances were involved in the initial call but could not say if it was meth related.