17 assaults on CQ paramedics were recorded in the past year

ROCKHAMPTON paramedics also occasionally find themselves in violent situations while on the job and eight assaults were reported in the city in 2013-14.

This had increased from the previous year, when five were recorded.

In the wider Central Queensland region, 17 assaults on paramedics were recorded in the past financial year, increasing from 11 the year before.

Queensland Ambulance Service Superintendent Sean Mutchmor said biting was the most common assault on paramedics.

It may seem more harmless than being punched or kicked but he said it was more frightening, especially when it drew blood.

When this happened, Mr Mutchmor said it forced the paramedic to undergo medical tests to ensure they had not contracted anything.

"Unfortunately many of our paramedics have to face that," he said.

"We're just trying to stop you from dying, we're the good guys."

Mr Mutchmor was pleased Queensland health minister Lawrence Springborg (pictured) announced people who assaulted health workers would face up to 14 years in jail under new state laws, which doubled the previous penalty.

He was not sure if the law changes would deter people from assaulting paramedics, especially those who were intoxicated or drug affected.

But he does hope it will encourage bystanders to stand up for paramedics if they see an assault unfolding.

"If it does anything it should be bringing awareness to that issue," he said.

"People don't understand paramedics face that side of things."



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