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NSW Ambulance takes zero tolerance approach to abuse this New Year’s Eve

NSW Ambulance takes zero tolerance approach to abuse this New Year’s Eve

NSW Ambulance is reminding the public of its zero tolerance policy to abuse towards paramedics and Triple Zero (000) call takers ahead of New Year’s Eve celebrations across the state.

NSW Ambulance Commissioner David Dutton said it is unacceptable that frontline NSW Ambulance paramedics rendering emergency medical assistance should be subject to physical and/or verbal abuse.

“It is inconceivable that anybody would interfere with our paramedics while they are administering care to patients in emergency situations, but unfortunately it does happen,” Commissioner Dutton said.

“Friends, family and bystanders have all been found to have assaulted our paramedics, but what is most shocking is that in majority of cases (81 per cent) it is the patient who is the offender.

“Tonight is our busiest night of the year and we ask for the cooperation of patients, their friends and families and bystanders so that we can do our job in providing emergency medical care to those in need.

“Our message is simple: Paramedics save lives and the next life they save might be yours.”

The majority of assaults toward paramedics occur at the location of initial patient contact, with others occurring in or near the ambulance vehicle or at a hospital emergency department.

Common types of assaults reported include physical assaults such as spitting, biting, pushing, slapping, kicking and punching; verbal abuse and aggression; and threatened physical assault.

Commissioner Duttonsaid there would be no leniency from NSW Ambulance when it came to such abuse this New Year’s Eve.

“While excessive drinking can lead to uncharacteristic behavior, our message is that no matter who you are, if you abuse one of our paramedics this evening you will be waking up tomorrow facing the consequences of your actions.

“NSW Ambulance works closely with the NSW Police Force to ensure that offenders are pursued to the full extent of the law.”

“Whether it’s a paramedic or a call taker on the receiving end, it is appalling to abuse the very people who are trying to help you,” Commissioner Dutton said.

Police acknowledge ‘grieving families’ as road toll rises

Assistant Commissioner John Hartley, Commander, Traffic and Highway Patrol. Pic: Courtesy 苏州美甲美睫培训学校youtube苏州美甲美睫培训学校/user/TheNSWPoliceTHE Commander of Traffic and Highway Patrol said the latest fatalities have added to the carnage of nearly two weeks of risk-taking and poor driver behaviour on NSW roads.

Assistant Commissioner John Hartley made the comments following the deaths on Tuesday of two drivers, one at Whittingham and the other at West Wylong; and the death of a motor cycle rider at Matraville.

The three fatalities occurred on Day 12 ofOperationArriveAlive, a six-week Traffic and Highway Patrol operation aimed at reducing road trauma over the holidays.

The three fatalities take to 14 the number of people killed on NSW roads between December 18 and December 29.

“The families of those killed on our roads are grieving and our hearts go out to them.

“To lose even one person is tragic enough, let alone 14 people in 12 days,” Assistant Commissioner Hartley said.

In the two-vehicle Whittingham accident, which closed the New England Highway 5km south of Singleton for a number of hours, the female driver of a Holden died at the scene.

Four males in the oncoming VW utility, aged 40, 14, 12 and the 21-year-old driver, were transported to Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital.

At the end of Day 12 police had reported1034 major crashes.

Among the statistics that have angered police arethe 11,002 speeding infringements issued over the 12 days and the 692 drivers charged with drink-driving offences on NSW roads.

“We’ve charged more than 57 people a day for drink-driving in a 12-day period [and] that is simply unacceptable andan extremely concerning figure,” Assistant Commissioner Hartley said as he urged road users to slow down and concentrate.

“The message is as simple as it is clear: manage your driving.

“Speeding, fatigue, drink or drug driving, not wearing a seat belt, or being distracted by a mobile phone are all factors that can lead to serious injury or even death,” he said.

Less than 24 hours after the three fatalities, police stopped a 20-year-old driver on the Hume Highway near Tumblong allegedly doing 167km/h in a 110km/h zone.

The young driver had her 10-month-old baby and another woman as passengers in the vehicle.

On Day One of the operation highway patrol officers suspended the licence of a Queensland man who was clocked allegedly doing 179km/h in a 100km/h zone on the Golden Highway near Cassilis.

The man had his wife and two children in the vehicle.

Operation Arrive Alivewill run until January 26.

2016 and the Hunter’s fair share of the spoils

The Hunter Region haslong had a problematic relationship with Sydney.Early on, Newcastle was a prison for the most incorrigible of Sydney’s fledgling population.

From the 1930s until 1967 –when the idea went southat a referendum –there was widesupport for the Hunter and the New England to form a breakaway new state.

Since then, arguments have ranged back and forth about the Hunter’s substantial contribution to state coffers, and the sometimes questionable support it receives in return.This imbalance is as relevantas ever as we head into 2016with question marks still hanging over thegovernment’s commitment toalight-rail-driven rejuvenation of the Newcastle CBD.

The Wickham interchange was unveiledin December 2012, with light rail added six months later.December 2012 also saw the government announce a much larger light rail line running for 12 kilometresbetween Randwick and Circular Quay, and taking inGeorge Street, Sydney.

Three years later, George Street is a construction site and the first trains are scheduled to run from mid-2018.

Progress in Newcastle has been noticeably slower, and the longer the delays continue, the greater the fears thatthe government is not serious about the project, and mayfind an excuse, sooner or later, to call it off.

Having come this far, the government must deliver on its promise to helpNewcastle become the modern, well-serviced citythe majority of its residents surely want it to be.

The cranes dotting the CBD skyline are evidence of a greaterinvestor interestin the region, which is poised, economically, on the cusp of a potentially historic pivot.

Having already lost much of its steel production, the Hunter’s other industrial stalwart, coal, is facing unprecedented international pressure.

Two hours drive away, Sydney’s population is set to risefrom 4.5 million to 6.3 million in the coming 20 years, almost twice the rate of the Hunter’s projected growth from 625,000 to 755,000.

Already struggling to win its justifiable share of government spending, the Hunter region risks being overlooked completely, given the obvious demands on Macquarie Street to spend its money closer to home.

We can still achieve a future more prosperous, butwe will have to fight hard, with a single voice, to achieve it.

ISSUE: 48,121

New generation rolls into the wheel thing

Rolling in the bowl: Hugh ‘Disco’ Rowland of Adelaide practising at Bar Beach skate bowl this week Picture: Jonathan CarrollAUSTRALIA’S top rollerskaters have converged on Newcastle for Rollerpalooza, acelebration of their sport at the Bar Beach skate bowl.

The free event runs from 2 to 6pm at the Bar Beach bowl on Saturday, with workshops on dance skating and bowl skating as well as demos and a finale “jam” that will feature rollerskaters and skateboarders.

Ange Maloney of Newcastle created Rollerpalooza five years ago. “I wanted to create a meet-up, and an opportunity to skate this bowl, one of the best in Australia,” she said. “And to teach people and make this massive, scary bowl less intimidating.”

The biggest star atevent is Michelle Stielen, of Long Beach, California, better known as Estro Jen, founder of the Moxi Roller Skate Company. Newcastle is her first stop on a majortour of Australia where she will lead workshops in skate dance and park/bowl skating.

Rollerskater “Disco” Rowlandof Adelaide was rolling at the Bar Beach bowl on Thursday in preparation for Saturday’s event. A surfer and skateboarder, he came back to rollerskating four years ago. Among his tricks is the “Seducer” where he spreads his legs on the coping (rim)as he reaches the top of the bowl, before drawing them together and reversing into the bowl.

“It is not competitive,” Rowlandsaid of the jam in the bowl. “We do try to up each other on tricks. You get about 30 seconds to put in three good moves in a sequence before you pop out.”

“What I really like about this event, all the people who come have different styles,” Maloney said. “It’s very much a community event. There is no competition. There will be some demos showcasing some of the best skaters, to show what is achievable.

Rollerpalooza founder: Ange ‘Danger’ Maloney at Bar Beach skate bowl this week. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

“But it’s all about getting people together to have a go. Everyone is more than welcometo come along and have a roll. Don’t be afraid. The best teachers will be here to help.”

There will be skate dancing to a deejayat the nearby backcourt, and a half pipe brought in for those not adventurous enough to roll in the bowl. Newcastle Roller Derby League, will be putting on a sausage sizzle and offering drinks for sale.

There will be sessions for every level of skater, Maloney said, and it’s a good chanceto learn to skate the bowl.

Jason and Justine Burgess of Bateau Bay and their children, Imogen, 7, and Talisha, 9, were practising in the bowl this week and will be attending on Saturday.

“It’s just such a big learning experience for us,” Mr Burgesssaid. “All of the top skaters will be here. It’s a good opportunity just to watch their lines and learn what good skaters do.”

Skaters must sign a waiver to participate. The event is free.

More homes burn … when will we learn

LOST: 116 homes were destroyed by bushfire in Victoria. Reader Tom Edwards believes legislation is needed to ensure properties in bushland are better protected.

ANOTHER 116homes lost to bushfires in Victoria – does anybody listen?

Ten years ago – and several times since – I wrote to many ministers with suggestions to mitigate this problem; all to no avail.

My suggestions were to legislate that all houses built in bushlandbe built of fire retardant material.

They should have a large source of water – either in a large tank or in a swimming pool.There should be a water pumping unit adjacent driven by a diesel motor or an electric motor with its own generator, should the electricity supply be cut.

The pump should have a 3Msuction head and – depending on the size of the house – a 6Mpositive head.This could be designed to operate automatically at a suitable temperature or switched on at the appropriate time.

From this, a pipe would run up the side of the house to an appropriate spray system; either a ridge pipe or a U pattern dependingon the roof structure.

This would have suitable spray heads to create a water mist over the house – in particular the gutters.I even worked out the horsepowerof the motor, the diameter of the pipes and the spray pattern – all to no avail.

If somebody is prepared to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a house, surely it is worth spending another thousand on preventing it being destroyed by fire.

Because of the damage caused by bushfires, insurance premiums are very high; there should be a reduction for homes conforming to a set of regulations.

Tom Edwards, Wangi WangiPlane painTHE new owners of Lake Macquarieairport need to have agood hard look at how they are operating aircraft out of this airport.

In my opinion, the airport is becoming a joke with stuntplanes doing loops and twisty twirls with smoke streaming out of the back.

The residents surrounding this airport want peace,not a stupid plane doing loops over their houses.When the airport was first approvedin1959 it wasn’tfor planes to be flying about doing stupid loop de loops.

There is a development applicationlodged with Lake Macquarie council to house twoWestpac Rescue helicopers at the airport.

If that goes ahead, I hope the council will supply me with earmuffs and sound proof my house.Let’s hope commonsense prevails,the DAis rejected and the helicoptersstaywhere they arenow at Broadmeadow.

Troy Williams, PelicanA win for shoppersFOR the first time, Hunter residents enjoyed the choice to shop on Boxing Day in their community rather than travelling to restricted zones or buying on-line.

This opportunity nearly didn’t happen as every Labor MP in the Hunter voted against the Retail Trading Amendment Bill in November.

Jenny Aitchison, Jodie Harrison, Kate Washington, Clayton Barr, Yasmin Catley, Tim CrakanthorpandSonia Horneryvoted to keep the Hunter as a second-class shopping precinct and against regulations preventing retail workers from being forced to work on these extended days.

Some of the speeches by the ALP members against Boxing Day trading were bordering on the bizarre.

Ms Washington said the answer was to “… not open on Boxing Day for retail trade across NSW”.

Ms Hornery nearly reached the Rudd scale of hyperbole with her quest to rename the bill “The Fred Nile Let’s Trade on Christmas Day without any Protection of Workers Bill”.

Possibly my favourite was Ms Aitchison’s foray into voodoo economics with the prediction of the demise of the tourism industry:“Will people spend even more money in shops and then have nothing to spend on tourism attractions during the holiday period …”.

Ms Catley also struggled with economics and one of the aims of the bill to give Hunter businesses and shoppers the opportunity to spend locally:“There is no evidence to suggest that opening stores on Boxing Day will have any economic benefit at all.”

Mr Crakanthorp and Ms Harrison didn’t speak to the Bill. The electorates andbusinesses in Newcastle and Charlestown were always likely to be the biggest beneficiaries.

Fortunately, the Retail Trading Amendment Bill passed Parliament in time for Boxing Day 2015.And the fallout? By all accounts shopping centres across the Hunter were busy. Keen shoppers didn’t have to travel.The social fabric of the community didn’t disintegrate.Staff who wanted to work and earn brought home a bit more income to save or spend. Tourism across the region somehow survived.

Scot MacDonald,Parliamentary Secretary for the HunterWell connectedTELSTRA comes in for a lot of flak over poor customer service anddelays in dealing with phoneline fault service requests. In most cases, the criticism is warranted.

But I would like to give Telstra a big pat on the back as a result of myrecent experience.

We were made aware theNBN was coming to our area by way ofnewspaper andTV advertising, so I rang the phone number advertised (1800 834 273)on the Wednesday and for a change, Iactually spoke to a person, inMelbourne, whocould not have been more helpful.

He told me that our premises were expected to beNBN-ready twodays later and he asked if he could ringback the next Monday between2pm-3pm to confirm the NBN status.

True to his word, he rang about 2.30pm andconfirmed that we were NBN-ready.

He then arranged a suitable appointment for thetechnician to come out to do what was necessary as well asanother appointment for another technician to come and install an NBN-compatible modem, all at no cost to us.

Greatwork Telstra for such helpful, friendly service – there should be more of it.Many thanks for such a pleasantexperience, it is really appreciated.

Ian King,Warners BayFace the musicREGARDINGthe (Reverend??) George Pell’s inability to travel to Australia to face the child abuse royal commission.

My solution to the problem is in today’s technology –why not take the appropriateproceedings to him.

My biggest query is why was he ever allowed to leave Australia in thefirst place?

N.C. Carroll,Hamilton