WATERCOOLER: Let paramedics have Tasers
CAN someone explain to me why it is such a bad idea to arm ambulance officers with tasers?
The idea has been raised by Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick following several assaults on paramedics but has been condemned by Caloundra MP and Shadow Health Minister, Mark McArdle, who described it as "ill-conceived" and claimed it had sparked "community outrage".
Maybe I speak with different people to Mr McArdle because those I do speak with can see some merit in the idea.
No one wants ambulance officers or paramedics to have to arm themselves but nor do they want them to be sitting ducks.
The fact is, they are often in situations where they are in danger of becoming the target of idiots who see them as an easy mark.
In a perfect world there would be police officers on hand to protect them but the world is not perfect and, so that is often not the case.
DO YOU AGREE QUEENSLAND AMBULANCE STAFF SHOULD BE ARMED WITH WEAPONS?
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Mr McArdle argues ambulance officers work closely with people and it would be a "tragedy" if a patient or someone else got their hands on the weapon.
Agreed. But it would also be a tragedy if a paramedic was killed by some idiot who attacked them while they were doing their job.
Why not allow them to have tasers inside their vehicles or in their locked medical boxes, rather than on their belts? They would be close enough to be available in an emergency but not at risk of being grabbed by idiots.
Paramedics and ambulance officers should feel safe while they are saving lives. If tasers are what they want, let them have them. If not, find another solution.
But this issue is too important to turn into an exercise in political point-scoring.