Saturday, 10 November 2007

Stab vests for Ambulance crews - What is this country coming to?

ambulance crew stab vests
It's a sad day when the Association of Professional Ambulance Personnel (Apap) have to demand stab vests for their crews. According to figures released this week 1,006 ambulance workers in England were assaulted over a 12-month period.

Jonathan Fox, a spokesman for the Apap union, said: "Although the majority of public we serve are fine, there is a disproportionate minority of people that we attend who can turn violent and it's this risk we are trying to address by reviewing this initiative."

What kind of person feels that it acceptable to attack those people who have found their vocation in life to be helping others in distress? If this is not a sure indication of the breakdown of our society then nothing is. I bet a pound to a penny that the majority of those idiots that have attacked Ambulance staff have been previously charged with other offences for which they should have been locked up, but weren't due to prison overcrowding.

We are in desperate need of extra prison places, and when (eventually) Labour get around to providing them, we need to take on New York's policy of zero tolerance. They reduced crime in their city when they realised that the same people where committing most of the crime, and that you can't commit crime while you are in prison.

It's a sad truth that we have ridiculous number of violent criminals walking our streets who should be safely locked away. And that is the real crime.


Sarah said...

They reduced crime in their city when they realised that the same people where committing most of the crime, and that you can't commit crime while you are in prison.

I believe it was quite common to find that someone arrested for a minor crime was also wanted or involved in a more major crime too.

WRT to Ambulance Personnel one Ambulance Crew member told of how they were frequently threatened and attacked put there was little interest in prosecuting those involved or they could not refuse to treat or take them.

Kris said...

It's not just your typical thug- I was in court the other day and saw a "lady" barrister in the doc for giving an ambulanceman a split lip.

border reiver said...

I am a paramedic and can assure you that the sort of person that attacks us are just ordinary people. We are supposedly trained a managing aggression but when a patient or their family are under stress, in pain, drunk or all three things are strained to breaking point. This is especially true if they have waited for what (to them) seems like a long time for assistance. Many medical conditions such as diabetes, head injuries and dementia can cause aggressive behaviour. We have a duty of care but when things become aggressive we usually withdraw from the scene, our safety first.

The Police, Procurator Fiscal and Ambulance Service pursues all assaults here with extreme vigour. Light sentencing is also always appealed to try and achieve a higher sentence, custodial sentences for assault on ambulance personnel are not uncommon.

But not providing stab vests in Scotland for crews due to financial considerations is just negligent. Violence can come quite without warning and we deserve all the protection possible. It is well known within the service that we will not receive vests until the first paramedic or technician is killed in the line of duty.