Facts speak louder than statistics

Monday, 6 July 2009

Feral Action

Sydney city paramedics attacked and abused.


By Kate Sikora

July 06, 2009 12:00am

PARAMEDICS trying to get to injured and sick people in crowded city streets are being abused and attacked by ignorant passers-by.

The attacks - which paramedics said were occurring on a daily basis - have even included coffee being thrown in their faces.

In the latest case of abuse, paramedics on motorbikes were confronted by hostile crowds on their way to save lives.

The rapid response units operate in the CBD and must use pedestrian malls such as Martin Place when the city roads are gridlocked.

But pedestrians are throwing coffee, food and refusing to move out of the way as the emergency workers race to life threatening jobs.

Paramedic Scott Webster told The Daily Telegraph violent reactions were increasingly getting worse.

"I don't know what it is about society but they just don't respect emergency services," he said. "People refuse to get out of our way. A colleague even had some coffee thrown at him.

"Others keep talking on their mobile phones or tell us to get off the footpath."

Rapid response bikes are only used for life-threatening cases and also slash response times. They are ideal for the clogged roads especially in peak hour.

"We go to life threatening jobs like shootings, stabbings and heart attacks," Mr Webster said.
"Just one minute could mean the difference between life and death. We want people to realise that we could be going to someone's dying baby."

Just like cars, pedestrians should move to the left when they see or hear an ambulance.

The BMW R1200 bikes have been in use in the city for the past 10 years.

They are responsible for slashing response times from eight minutes to 3½ minutes.

As Sydney traffic becomes worse, motorcycles are crucial in reaching patients faster.

"It's usually the people who abuse us and are in our way who are the ones to complain when we take too long to get to a job," he said