Paramedics will be fitted with high-tech body cameras
from tomorrow as part of the NSW Government’s $48 million reform package
to improve the safety of frontline health
Health Minister Brad Hazzard
said paramedics from Liverpool, Sydney Ambulance Centre at Eveleigh, and Hamilton in
suburban Newcastle will be part of a 12-month voluntary trial.
“We need to look after the people who look after us and if this technology
can help deter abuse and assaults against frontline paramedics, we need to give
it go,” Mr Hazzard said.
“Hopefully, agitated individuals
will modify their behaviour when they realise their actions
are being recorded because our paramedics are not a punching
bag for anyone’s
“Paramedics are there to help us and it is never OK to abuse them.
Assaults carry heavy penalties and, if needed, bodycam footage will be used as
evidence when prosecuting people.”
NSW Ambulance Chief Executive Dr Dominic Morgan said 60 body cameras will be used in the trial by
paramedics and if it is successful, more could be rolled
“When the idea of
body cameras was raised at the paramedic
roundtable, the NSW
Government listened and worked with us to introduce the technology,” Dr Morgan said.
“The cameras will be another
set of eyes for
our paramedics and in addition
to hopefully deterring abuse, there is scope to use them for
training purposes further
down the line.”
The body cameras pilot follows additional
NSW Government reforms introduced over the past 12
months to improve paramedic workplace safety including:
- $24 million for a technology upgrade including:
- upgrade of mobile data terminals
to pinpoint the
in-vehicle radios to
ensure enhanced reception.
duress procedures and reporting.
- $3.3 million for face-to-face occupational violence training.
- $ 4 million for high-tech smartphones to overcome radio blackspots.
The NSW Government is investing more than $1 billion in NSW Ambulance in
2019-20, including $27 million to employ 221 extra paramedics and call centre
staff. These staff are the second tranche of a record workforce boost of 750 to
be deployed over four years.