Royston paramedic who was abused by Stevenage man says lone working policy could leave frontline staff vulnerable

Tristan Ravenscroft

Tristan Ravenscroft - Credit: Archant

A paramedic threatened by a man he was trying to help believes that the ambulance service’s policy should change to give better protection to frontline staff.

Tristan Ravenscroft was working with fellow paramedic Krishan Mawji when the pair were sworn at and threatened by Luke Harris, of Sish Lane, Stevenage, on June 6.

Harris, 21, was also found guilty of causing £728.77 of damage to their ambulance at Stevenage Magistrates’ Court on Monday and was given a six-week curfew between 7am and 7pm and ordered to pay £1,408.77 in fines and compensation.

Mr Ravenscroft said that the East of England Ambulance Service Trust’s policy towards lone workers should change, or assaults could increase.

At the moment ambulance staff cannot refuse if they are sent out alone – something Mr Ravenscroft feels is wrong.

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He said: “I think that if I had been alone the situation would have been worse. The guy was targeting me, probably because I’m a bit older and I’ve got white hair, and if Krishan wasn’t there I don’t know what would have happened.

“There’s currently a big recruitment drive on for student paramedics and the policy changed about two years ago about lone working.

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“Before that, if you weren’t confident about working alone you could refuse – but now you don’t have that option and I think there might be a danger that people are being sent out into situations with which they’re not comfortable.

“I think the ambulance trust needs to review its policy on lone working, training staff to better deal with these situations and possibly introducing body cameras to record assaults.”

Assaults on paramedics working for the ambulance service have increased from 144 in 2012/13 to 188 through to March 2014.

A spokesman for the ambulance service said: “We have a duty to ensure the safety of our staff at all times. We are looking at the lone working policy with our union colleagues to make sure it protects staff in the best way possible.”

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