On average a paramedic is assaulted in Victoria every 50 hours. Last year 147 paramedics were assaulted.
Aggression and violence against paramedics and other health workers is totally unacceptable. It’s never OK.
Our paramedics will leave scenes where they don’t feel safe.
Violence can have a devastating impact on our staff, like Darelle, whose jaw was broken when a patient attacked her in an ambulance.
We have worked hard in the past couple of years to ensure that safety is the number one priority for everyone at Ambulance Victoria.
As a result of our initiatives there were 87 fewer actual assaults against paramedics in 2017 – a 38% reduction on 2016.
In an Australian-first pilot, 150 body worn cameras are being trialled by 550 paramedics at 27 locations in Melbourne’s inner and western suburbs.
Paramedics wearing the cameras will start recording if they feel at risk or are threatened. Vision can then be used as evidence for police investigations and prosecutions.
To better protect our staff 4,700 paramedics and first responders undertook virtual reality training to help prevent occupational violence.
The virtual reality training is an emergency services first, made possible by a $900,000 State Government grant.
The Occupational Violence Prevention Education Program equips paramedics with the behavioural and tactical skills to reduce exposure to occupational violence.
Under the program, participants watch two lifelike scenarios featuring scenes where paramedics are exposed to a variety of occupational violence hazards, with actors playing patients and bystanders.
The participant can look around the scene (360 degree view) as if they were there. The virtual reality technology makes for a compelling real-life experience that resonates in ways that a PowerPoint presentation cannot match.
A WorkSafe campaign highlights that aggression and abuse towards healthcare workers, including paramedics, is never OK.
More information on the #itsneverokay campaign is on the WorkSafe website.