The NT Government will introduce tougher penalties for assaults against emergency service workers including paramedics and ambulance officers.
Emergency workers are frontline workers, often responding to the same incidents as police officers. Therefore it makes sense that the higher penalties for assaulting police should also apply to offenders who assault emergency workers.
The term ‘emergency worker’ is defined in the new Bill to encompass:
The amendment also extends:
This is so that they are treated in the same way as a paramedic or ambulance officer providing the same service.
Health Minister Natasha Fyles said: “Let me be clear, the safety of our ambulance workers is paramount and the Government will not stand for any abuse, violent or otherwise, directed at our first responders.
“The hardworking team at St John keep Territorians safe, so it’s only right we make sure our first responders remain safe while performing their duties.
“The same penalties that apply to assaults against our Police will now apply to our Emergency Workers so St John can get on with the job of keeping Territorians safe.”
St John chief executive, Judith Barker said: “St John NT is in full support of the amendments to the criminal code that are being introduced into parliament today.
“In June of this year we launched our Hands Off campaign in a bid to raise awareness and public support of safe work environments for paramedics.
“The first five or ten minutes could mean the difference between life and death for a patient – to make those crucial minutes count, our paramedics need to be able to treat patients without having to worry about their own safety.”
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