ON ALERT: In the wake of assaults, paramedics have been retrained in how to deal with volatile situations.
ON ALERT: In the wake of assaults, paramedics have been retrained in how to deal with volatile situations. Contributed

Ambulance officers trained in how to prevent attacks

REVIEWED safety procedures rolled out to paramedics in the wake of a series of attacks have been so far well received, according to their union.

The Train the Trainer program began in February after media attention on paramedics' safety due to attacks in January.

They included an attack on two paramedics at Landsborough on January24.

Queensland Ambulance Service Assistant Commissioner for capability and development, Stephen Gough, said 35 paramedics from the 15 regions covering the state had week-long intensive training.

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

Paramedics focused on disengagement techniques and were coached by police in how to avoid being assaulted.

Assistant Commissioner Gough said the training was completed about a fortnight ago and those who attended were passing on their skills to the 3500 frontline staff across Queensland.

He expected the training to be completed by the end of the year.

"The bottom line for us is paramedics shouldn't get assaulted in the workplace but there are risks," he said.

United Voice, the union which represents ambulance officers, had received good feedback about the training from its members.

Communications and campaigns manager Elise Meakin said the union has played a key role in the activities and recommen- dations rolled out as a result of a safety task force review.

"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," Ms Meakin said.

"It is for this reason that the outcomes of the task force are so important," she said.


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