Opinion

Lifesavers deserve safety

by
February 02, 2018

Yesterday’s media event at the Ambulance Victoria Shepparton branch highlighted positive improvements made by the service in the region.

Specifically, recently released performance data shows the Shepparton brigade has reduced its average code one emergency response time from 11 minutes 52 seconds to 10min 37sec.

The improvements equated to 83.5 per cent of ambulances arriving within 15 minutes for code one emergencies, up from 78.8 per cent 12 months earlier.

These statistics compare favourably with the percentage recorded across the state — so our paramedics deserve a pat on the back for their continued hard work.

They are figures obviously influenced by a number of factors, but broadly speaking it is a pleasing result and one that could only serve to instil confidence in the service among the public.

But while paramedics and the service as a whole are keeping their side of the bargain, it is disappointing to see some members of the public, albeit a small minority, not doing their part.

Ambulance Victoria paramedics are having to deal with aggression and violence way too often.

Paramedics’ role of caring for people, often in the most serious of situations and delivering them to hospital in a timely fashion, is an important one.

It is concerning to think that someone would even consider being violent towards one, let alone acting on it and becoming physical.

They are performing life-saving work and should not have to worry about potentially being the targets of abuse. They deserve to feel safe in their place of work.

Ambulance Victoria Hume group manager John Morris has worked in the region for more than 30 years and said paramedics’ safety was a huge focus across the service, and that they used the police for many cases and relied on them.

Strong awareness campaigns condemning the use of violence against paramedics are most relevant and thought-provoking.

Ambulance Victoria’s 2016-17 annual report stated a 23 per cent decrease in paramedic injuries caused by violence and aggression across the state.

We hope this trend continues because they are performing life-saving work and deserve to feel safe while they are doing it.

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