Ambo campaign highlights big ice risk
Paramedics across Australia say violent, paranoid and unpredictable ice users are creating a new level of danger at work.
In Queensland, paramedics have taken to calling for police back-up when dealing with ice users.
In the city of Wagga Wagga, paramedics do not even approach ice users until police arrive.
Both decisions come from the high rate of assault on paramedics by people high on ice.
South Australia has launched a new campaign to highlight the assaults.
It includes sharing a graphic video shot on a mobile phone that shows a young drug user pushing and screaming at a paramedic trying to treat his unconscious friend.
“I can't fight for your mate's life if I'm fighting for mine,” the campaign tells viewers.
In an interview with the ABC acting director of patient safety with the Queensland Ambulance Service Tony Hucker said it was only a matter of time before a paramedic is badly hurt or even killed on a callout to an ice case.
“A couple of months ago we had a 40-year-old who was agitated and violent on a high rise balcony, and when you think about that, that is a very dangerous situation for the patient and the caregivers,” Hucker said.
“He was really quite out of control on a high rise balcony, so that poses enormous risks to us all. That could end up in a fatal event for one of us so we had to exercise great care.
“We really need to remind the community that we don't want to be punching bags.”