Ambulance officers trained to protect themselves against violence

by L&D11 Apr 2016
Two separate incidents on a Sunday night earlier this year in Queensland have helped spark widespread training programs for ambulance officers.

The first attack involved a 41-year-old female paramedic who was treated at hospital for injuries that occurred while treating a patient in Toowong. It is alleged the attacker was heavily intoxicated at the time.

The second comprised two male ambulance officers who were punched in Landsborough on the Sunshine Coast.

Queensland Ambulance Deputy Commissioner Chris Broomfield has previously blamed excessive alcohol and drugs for the increase in violence.

So far, 35 paramedics from the 15 regions covering the state have had week-long intensive training, according to The Sunshine Coast Daily.

The program focused on situational awareness and the most effective methods to get out of difficult situations.

Part of the training involves being coached by police in how to avoid being assaulted and they also focused on disengagement techniques.

Moreover, those who attended the training have been passing on their skills to the 3500 frontline staff across Queensland, according to Assistant Commissioner Stephen Gough.

He added that the training should be finished by the end of the year.

"The bottom line for us is paramedics shouldn't get assaulted in the workplace but there are risks," Gough was quoted as saying by The Sunshine Coast Daily.

Further, the union United Voice has played a key role in getting real results for paramedics, according to their communications and campaigns manager Elise Meakin.

"In order for real change to occur so that ambulance officers may be safer on the job, there are a wide range of changes and initiatives that need to be implemented," said Meakin.