Members bill to add a blanket of protection for those caring for others
Ambulance professionals are thankful those who assault first responders might in future receive tougher penalties.
The Protection for First Responders and Prison Officers Bill has been pulled from ballot and will be debated over the coming weeks. The bill, which beefs up penalties for those who act ‘with intent to injure’ a first responder will add further protection to those who find themselves in threatening circumstances.
NZ First’s Darroch Ball says first responders are sometimes in more dangerous situations and it’s only fair that those protecting and caring for the public receive their own protection and care.
FIRST Union organiser Lynette Blacklaws says she’s hopeful the new legislation will improve the safety of ambulance officers when they are out on the road saving lives and attending to the most vulnerable.
“It has been a long time coming and our members have been screaming out for justice, and a deterrent from members of the public lashing out at them, which to date seems to have had no repercussions for offenders.”
She says it will provide first responders with a stronger response, should they choose to press charges following an assault.
“We want a safe and healthy work environment for our ambulance members and they deserve protection.”