CENTRAL West paramedics will miss out on 12-month body camera trial to provide extra security while on the job.
In the past 12-months paramedics across NSW have reported more than 400 incidents of violence against them while at work.
Paramedics have been kicked, pushed and spat on while trying to do their job, NSW Ambulance Commissioner Dr Dominic Morgan said.
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"Who does that sort of behaviour?" he said of the incidents.
The year-long voluntary trial commenced for paramedics at selected Sydney and Newcastle stations on Thursday.
Dr Morgan said the cameras would make a "big difference in our ability to deter violent situations".
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"There would be no other workplace in this country where it would be ok for an employee to be assaulted every single day," he said.
"Sadly many paramedics have historically thought that occupational violence was a part of the job."
Australian Paramedics Association Central West executive officer Scott Beaton said while something must be done about the number of violent incidents, the union believes that body cameras are not the part of the solution.
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"In trials in other countries it shows it doesn't work and in some cases the violence has increased," he said.
Mr Beaton said the union also feared that patients "may not be as open and honest" with paramedics during their treatment if they knew they were being recorded.
While against the widespread introduction of body cameras for NSW paramedics, he said the union did not have an alternative solution to curb the violence.
Joined Paramedic Chloe and colleagues to launch the trial of new body cam cameras to deter violence toward our fantastic NSW paramedics. Caught on candid camera? : criminal acts on paramedics will be filmed and offenders prosecuted. @NSWHealth pic.twitter.com/v1DeAq95NM— Brad Hazzard (@BradHazzard) November 19, 2019
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said he hoped "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 frustration".
"Paramedics are there to help us and it is never OK to abuse them," he said.
"Assaults carry heavy penalties and, if needed, bodycam footage will be used as evidence when prosecuting people."
NSW Ambulance were contacted by Australian Community Media for data on the number of violent incidents against paramedics in the Central West, but were unable to provide a response before deadline.
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