Paramedic undergoes surgery after sickening attack
HIGHFIELDS paramedic Winston Lobegeier was the victim of a sickening assault from a patient he was trying to help, but he won't let the violence stop him from saving lives.
The advanced care paramedic, with more than 27 years' experience, suffered a fractured nose and had to undergo reconstructive surgery as a result of the attack the night of Friday, September 30.
Mr Lobegeier was called to a car rollover to treat a young man who had suffered a head injury.
But what happened next, as Mr Lobegeier went about saving the man's life, prompted outrage from the Queensland Ambulance Service and the United Voice union.
Mr Lobegeier was headbutted in the face, fracturing his nose which required surgery and ongoing headaches for which he continues to undergo tests.
"The psychological side of it is going to be the hard part," the experienced paramedic said.
"We come to work to care for people, we don't come to work to get beat up.
"It's not in our nature, we don't do things like that."
Mr Lobegeier was one of three Darling Downs Local Ambulance Service Network paramedics assaulted on the job between September 28-30.
A Dalby paramedic suffered facial injuries when they were kicked by a patient in the Western Downs town.
Another paramedic received blows to his back and side when an agitated patient kneed them in an ambulance, also in Dalby.
United Voice local delegate Ginny Lovelady said it was appalling paramedics were being assaulted.
"Working together, United Voice and QAS have developed a number of new initiatives which have included the introduction of new technology, a revised tactical de-escalation and safety program, and the introduction of chemical sedation for aggressive or violent patients," she said.
"We are now calling on the public to help us by taking responsibility for their own actions."
QAS Assistant Commissioner Darling Downs LASN, Stephen Zsombok, says "enough is enough" when it comes to occupational violence.
"One assault on our paramedics is one too many, and we don't want to watch this happen ever again," he said.
"Some acts of violence require long term physical and mental recovery and can have a devastating impact on our staff and their families."
Mr Lobegeier continues his recovery but is adamant the assault won't keep him from the job which is his passion.
"When I first started (and) it's not only our profession, it's police, the fire service, there was respect," he said.
"Respect is not there any more.
"I do this job because I love it, I can't let it beat me."
Originally published as Paramedic undergoes surgery after sickening attack