Officials concerned after survey shows high abuse rate against paramedics

Peterborough Paramedics Chief Randy Mellow said that 66 percent of paramedics surveyed reported some form of abuse while on the job


By EMS1 Staff

PETERBOROUGH, Ontario — EMS officials are expressing their concern after a survey revealed that a high number of paramedics are being abused on the job.

A recent survey found that 66 percent of paramedics interviewed reported on-duty abuse, Global News reported.

“They found that 66 percent of those [paramedics] were suffering some form of abuse … during their work, each and every year, and that breaks down to 26 percent being physically abused,” Peterborough Paramedics Chief Randy Mellow said. “A lot of verbal abuse, sexual harassment, things of that nature, and we’re seeing an increase in that here in Peterborough and we’re not going to tolerate that.”

McMaster University resident emergency physician Dr. Blair Bigham, who has also worked as a paramedic, said the assaults he underwent, both physical and verbal, were the worst part of the job.

“It’s not so much the patient who is dying of a traumatic injury that I find stressful, it’s the conflict that I have with people on the scene, with other health care providers trying to get the best care for that patient,” he said.

Chief Mellow urged paramedics to never write off abuse as “part of the job,” or else they risk suffering PTSD.

 

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