The first interim report of the Occupational Violence Taskforce was presented to Ambulance Minister Cameron Dick late last week and outlined the current key areas of focus. In addition to the improved, on-going de-escalation training (which is currently being rolled out) the report also highlighted the need for a broad community education and advertising campaign.
Minister Dick then announced funding of $1.35 million for a public awareness and advertising campaign aimed at minimising violence against paramedics. United Voice plans to play a key role in helping to shape this campaign to ensure it targets the right people and has the most impact.
In addition to these recommendations the interim report also outlined a need to review internal and external processes to ensure data collection and analysis is broad focusing to ensure the right information is being captured so improvements to systems can be implemented. Another key focus will be reviewing current technology options to better understand where improvements can be made so that ambulance officers have access to greater patient information.
While the funding provided by the Minister is a good start, $1.35 million will not fix this unacceptable problem. Rolling out effective and easily accessible duress buttons right across the state must be a priority, and funding to undertake this is vital.