Aussie paramedics get body cameras to curb assaults

Paramedics have been exposed to over 5,000 cases of violence over the last year — about 13 a day

By EMS1 Staff

VICTORIA, Australia — Following a spike in on-duty assaults, officials in Australia have decided to equip paramedics with body cameras. 

The $500,000 trial aims to see if the implementation of body cameras will reduce the number of assaults paramedics experience while on the job, reported The Guardian. According to Ambulance Victoria, paramedics have been exposed to over 5,000 cases of violence over the last year — about 13 a day. 

“It’s a sad indictment unfortunately of the community that these things are necessary, but each day our paramedics are exposed to two cases per day of occupational violence … That is unacceptable,” Tony Walker, chief executive of Ambulance Victoria, said. 

Two hundred cameras will be distributed to 150 paramedics as part of a $2.7 million violence prevention campaign. 

Officials said paramedics will turn their body cameras on if they feel they are in a potentially violent and aggressive situation. 

“What we want to ensure is we are using this as a tool to be able to discourage people and understanding that they will be subjected to accountability if they subject paramedics to violence and aggression,” Jill Hennessy, Victoria health and ambulances service minister, said.

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