Queensland Ambulance Service Deputy Commissioner Dee Taylor-Dutto. Picture: AAP/David Clark
Queensland Ambulance Service Deputy Commissioner Dee Taylor-Dutto. Picture: AAP/David Clark

Worst region for paramedic assaults named

SOUTHEAST Queensland has been revealed as the worst in the state for paramedic assaults with over half of attacks occurring in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Figures obtained by The Courier-Mail show the Metro South region, which includes Logan, parts of Brisbane and Beaudesert, has more than doubled to 56 assaults in the past financial year, up from 22.

The Gold Coast recorded the second highest with 54 assaults, while Metro North, which includes Caboolture and northern Brisbane suburbs, came in third with 40.

Statewide attacks on paramedics trying to do their jobs have increased 40 per cent, a worrying trend authorities say must stop.

Queensland Ambulance Service Deputy Commissioner, Dee Taylor-Dutton, said she was appalled by the numbers.

Queensland Ambulance Service Deputy Commissioner Dee Taylor-Dutto. Picture: AAP/David Clark
Queensland Ambulance Service Deputy Commissioner Dee Taylor-Dutto. Picture: AAP/David Clark

She said there had already been 291 attacks this financial year, compared to the previous year's 301 incidents.

"Southeast Queensland is a concern, if you look at Gold Coast, Metro North and South, they make up 51 per cent of this year's incidents and that's really concerning," she said.

"It really does show, once upon a time the teal uniform was considered safe and it was rare for us to be assaulted, but the community has changed and there's an increasing prevalence of violence.

"We do everything we can, but it hurts them and no one likes to know they could be someone else's punching bag when they go to work - it's not acceptable."

 

The Metro South health district, which includes Logan, parts of Brisbane and Beaudesert, was the worst in the state for paramedic assaults. Picture: AAP/Richard Walker
The Metro South health district, which includes Logan, parts of Brisbane and Beaudesert, was the worst in the state for paramedic assaults. Picture: AAP/Richard Walker

The data, which is divided into deliberate physical attacks, verbal threats and accidental contact, shows there have been 179 deliberate attacks on paramedics this financial year.

Ms Taylor-Dutton said most incidents were related to drugs, alcohol, or mental illness and the attacks caused paramedics to be fearful.

"It's usually associated with patients who are unconscious, or where there's drugs or alcohol involved or a psychiatric episode,'' she said.

Ms Taylor-Dutton said paramedics were mostly reporting being grabbed, struck or punched.

She said patients often had to be sedated, where de-escalation methods would not work.

Townsville was also a large target for assaults, with deliberate attacks in the region increasing from 12 to 21.



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