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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.

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