Zero tol­er­ance to as­saults on paramedics

Isis Town and Country - - Life -

Stephen Ben­nett Mem­ber for Bur­nett The most re­cent data avail­able shows that in the 2014-15 fi­nan­cial year, there were 12 as­saults on paramedics in the Wide Bay

LO­CAL paramedics and Mem­ber for Bur­nett Stephen Ben­nett are send­ing out the mes­sage that vi­o­lence to­wards emer­gency ser­vices per­son­nel will not be tol­er­ated.

Mr Ben­nett met with paramedics to throw his sup­port be­hind the in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar so­cial me­dia cam­paign #ZeroTol­er­ence, a na­tion-wide drive to pro­tect emer­gency ser­vices per­son­nel.

The cam­paign fol­lows a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in as­saults against paramedics and other emer­gency per­son­nel across the state.

As­saults on paramedics in the Wide Bay alone dou­bled in the past year.

“The most re­cent data avail­able shows that in the 2014-15 fi­nan­cial year, there were 12 as­saults on paramedics in the Wide Bay,” he said.

State-wide, re­ported as­saults on paramedics through­out Queens­land had jumped by al­most 20% in one year, with 247 in­ci­dents be­ing recorded dur­ing the 2014-15 fi­nan­cial year.

“That’s just what has been re­ported, but that num­ber could be a lot higher as I’m hear­ing some as­saults go un­re­ported by am­bu­lances of­fi­cers.”

He said there was a need for greater pro­tec­tion of health work­ers and while in govern­ment had in­tro­duced a Safe Night Out Strat­egy to stamp out the vi­o­lence.

“As part of the for­mer LNP Govern­ment’s Safe Night Out Strat­egy to crack down on vi­o­lence, if you com­mit an ag­gra­vated se­ri­ous as­sault on a nurse, doc­tor, para­medic – or any health pro­fes­sional – you could be hit with up to 14 years im­pris­on­ment,” he said.

Mr Ben­nett en­cour­aged oth­ers to get on board.

“This is about en­sur­ing our ded­i­cated, hard-work­ing emer­gency ser­vice per­son­nel get to go home safely to their fam­i­lies at the end of their shift,” he said.

“Paramedics are be­ing ver­bally or phys­i­cally abused on a daily ba­sis.

“Th­ese in­ci­dents pre­vent them from do­ing their job of ul­ti­mately sav­ing lives.

“Paramedics and other emer­gency ser­vice per­son­nel should be able to get on with their job with­out feel­ing that their own safety is threat­ened.

“There’s no ex­cuse for ver­bally or phys­i­cally abus­ing those who are just try­ing to help. The vi­o­lence has to stop.”

Mr Ben­nett said he sup­ported the fast-track a trial of body-worn cam­eras for Queens­land paramedics.

“The rise in vi­o­lence to­wards our health work­ers is con­cern­ing... it’s hap­pen­ing in our hospi­tals, it’s hap­pen­ing on the front line for po­lice, and it’s hap­pen­ing on the front line for our para­medic work­ers.”

He said GoPros would pro­vide ev­i­dence of as­saults and make peo­ple think twice about throw­ing punches at paramedics.

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