Fair go: Paramedics raise their ‘Don’t Hesitate’ wrist bands at member for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead’s Tuncurry office. Twenty-three paramedics from the Great Lakesvisited member for Myall Lakes, Stephen Bromhead’s Tuncurry office on Friday to discuss changes to deathand disability cover.

Under a new scheme to be introduced onAugust 20, injuredparamedics’ entitlements will be cut.

In the new scheme an injured paramedic will receive a total of $123,487;comparatively an injuredpolice officer in the same situation will receive payouts of up to$432,127.

Serving paramedic and State counselor in theambulance division of the Health Services UnionSteve Fraser said the difference wascreated by paramedics now receiving only two years of compensation, instead of seven like NSW police officers.

“But we do the same work, we arrive at the same cases,” Mr Fraser said.

“In fact sometimes we will do a bit more in terms of lifting.”

“We throw our entire body into the job.

“Our work is very physical and unpredictable. You simply can’t anticipate how a situation will unfold. The inherent danger of our job is the reason we fought for and won death and disability cover in the first place.”

Mr Fraser said without having proper compensation it causedparamedics to be less likely to “risk it” at work.

“We need to be able to do our job without fear.

Meeting the local member.

“Without proper death and disability cover, we will hesitate. We will think twice when we are pulling someone from a car crash at an awkward angle or dragging an unconscious body from a shower.

“The risk of injury weighs much heavier without appropriate cover.”

Mr Bromhead said he supported theparamedics’ point in principle.

“They had a very compelling argument,” he said.

“Paramedics work in a highly stressed environment, where they make life or death decisions and they don’t want to hesitate before acting.”

Mr Bromhead said he wouldgive documents on the group’s case to Health MinisterJillian Skinner and take it to the party room.

“We will keepin touch to remind him of the commitment,” Mr Fraser said.

“Until now our families have had confidence that if we are injured a scheme is in place to look after them. That all changes on August 20.”

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