Queensland paramedics could be given weapons to protect themselves from violent patients

Bianca Stone

Queensland paramedics could be given access to non-lethal weapons to protect themselves from violent patients.

It is one option that will be considered by a new taskforce, set up following the vicious assault of Gold Coast paramedic Brad Johnson.

"Brad was extremely lucky he didn't lose his life,” Gary Bullock from the union, United Voice, said.

Paramedic Gary Bullock was assaulted while on duty on teh Gold Coast. Source: 7 News.

The outrage that followed the assault quickly turned to anger when his alleged attacker was released on bail.

"If it was a police officer or member of the judiciary that was assaulted on Friday night, would the perpetrator be out on bail?” Mr Bullock questioned.

Ambulance officers who are fed up with being treated like punching bags want action.

Paramedics are fed up of being treated poorly. Source: 7 News

"I'd like to listen to paramedics themselves and their representatives and leaders in the Ambulance Service about what the next steps are,” Health and Ambulance Services Minister Cameron Dick said.

That could include arming frontline staff with non-lethal weapons like tasers or capsicum spray.

"I cant rule anything out,” Mr Dick said.

The union is suggesting other measures such as restraints and cameras in ambulances and better information from police.

Paramedics could be armed with non-leathal weapons such as tasers. Source: 7 News.

"We're calling on the Government to take immediate steps to make sure the lives of paramedics are not put in jeopardy,” Mr Bullock said.

In the past five years assaults against paramedics have jumped 67 per cent, from 114 deliberate attacks in 2010 to 170 in the past year.

Nearly one paramedic is assaulted in Queensland every two days.

A social media campaign called Triple Zero Tolerance has begun calling for people to rally next month in support of paramedics.

Morning news break - December 15