Illawarra paramedics call for 'less aggro' this Christmas

  • Published December 22, 2021
  • Industries

Illawarra Mercury, 22 December 2021

In his 33 years as an Illawarra intensive paramedic, Anton Jamsek has been personally verbally assaulted too many times.

Unfortunately he has also seen many of his colleagues be physically assaulted during this time. These assaults have been more prevalent during the festive season.

This has prompted NSW Health to release a video warning the public to stop being aggressive to paramedics and health staff.

Mr Jamsek, in his role as a Health Services Union delegate, backed the messaging of the video and urged the general public to show some patience with paramedics whose job it is to help the sick and injured. 

Illawarra paramedic and Health Services Union delegate Anton Jamsek, is urging the general public to be kind and patient with paramedics this festive season.
"In the past we've had to deal with our members getting assaulted physically and verbally. We are moving into the festive season, so therefor we just ask everyone to be mindful that the demand on the service will be even more greater and people have to show some patience," he said.

"We find that sometimes alcohol is a contributing factor to any aggressive behaviour towards our paramedics, so we would like to think that doesn't eventuate too much this season.

"We just need the public to be understanding and be mindful and limit their alcohol intake and if there is any need for an ambulance they be aware it could take some time to get to you because of the amount of work that we have to get through.

"We are under the same constraints and stresses that the rest of the population is with COVID and staff shortages, so if people could show some patience, we'd really appreciate that."

Mr Jamsek said paramedics were trained to take evasive action but sometimes they needed to call in the police to protect themselves from people acting aggressively towards them.

"We feel if it does escalate to the point where the public or an aggressive patient does get out of hand we will have to notify the police and ensure our staff are safe so we can look after sick and injured people," he said.

"It is a real problem when people have had too much to drink or taken illicit substances which make them behave irrationally.

"I want everyone to enjoy the festive season but in moderation and be mindful of those people who are working, trying to make the community safe and caring for people in the community this festive season."