The male patient is understood to have overdosed. Picture: Damian Shaw
The male patient is understood to have overdosed. Picture: Damian Shaw

Family hits back at 'reckless' paramedics after 'mob' claim

UPDATE: THE family of a 25-year-old man who died have slammed the paramedics union for claiming ambulance officers were attacked by an "irate" mob while they were trying to save his life.

Hamze Ibrahim's relatives said their pain had been amplified by "reckless and unfounded" union comments, which were "devoid of compassion" and essentially blamed them for his death.

Emergency services were called to Riverwood in Sydney's south on Sunday morning, where Mr Ibrahim was in cardiac arrest after a suspected drug overdose.

The Australian Paramedics Association alleged that up to 80 "angry males" gathered at the unit and allegedly threatened the health workers and charged at a female paramedic, injuring her shoulder and leaving the four others "shaken up".

The paramedics were allegedly forced to barricade themselves inside the unit as the violent mob demanded a defibrillator and drugs believing they could treat the young man, said APA secretary Steve Pearce.

Mr Ibrahim died at the scene.

The paramedics union lashed out at the family's behaviour, saying it was "stupidity" that cost him his life.

"Paramedics were forced to fend off angry males who eventually forced them to stop treating the patient who was in cardiac arrest and subsequently died," Mr Pearce told AAP.

"We had the outrageous situation where a violent mob demanded paramedics hand over a defibrillator and drugs, saying they would treat the patient."

The family was upset and the scene "escalated," added the union secretary.

In a statement issued through a law firm, his relatives said their pain had been "unnecessarily amplified by the self-serving, reckless and unfounded" comments from the union.

"The inaccurate comments made on behalf of the association, which in essence, blames the family for the death of Mr Ibrahim, are totally devoid of compassion and empathy," the statement said.

Mr Ibrahim's relatives said he did not take drugs and suffered from sleep apnoea.

Man dead as paramedics rushed by mob

EARLIER: A 25-YEAR-OLD man has died after a mob of "angry males" swarmed paramedics and stopped them from treating him in Sydney's south.

According to the Australian Paramedics Association (APA), emergency services were called to Iris Avenue in Riverwood yesterday morning where the male was suspected of having suffered a drug overdose.

However, family members of the dying man became "irate" and tried to intervene, the APA alleges.

Up to 80 "angry males" quickly gathered at the unit and allegedly threatened the health workers and charged at a female paramedic, injuring her shoulder. The four others were "shaken up" by the attack.

"Paramedics were forced to fend off angry males who eventually forced them to stop treating the patient who was in cardiac arrest and subsequently died," APA secretary Steve Pearce said.

"We had the outrageous situation where a violent mob demanded paramedics hand over a defibrillator and drugs, saying they would treat the patient."

The APA says more needs to be done to protect paramedics. Picture: Damian Shaw
The APA says more needs to be done to protect paramedics. Picture: Damian Shaw

The paramedics barricaded themselves inside the unit as the violent mob demanded a defibrillator and drugs believing they could treat the young man, Mr Pearce added.

About 20 police officers arrived at the scene, including the Public Order Riot Squad, to rescue the paramedics at about 7.45am.

However, the male patient died at the scene.

"On this occasion the stupidity of these people have taken the life of their family member," Mr Pearce said.

"We don't want any more people to face the horrifying situation of their loved ones dying because paramedics are unable to treat patients after threats of violence."

 

Police had to protect paramedics in Darling Harbour last month while they treated an unconscious woman.
Police had to protect paramedics in Darling Harbour last month while they treated an unconscious woman.

 

He called for faster intervention by police and said attacks on paramedics in the Bankstown area had become a regular occurrence.

In February, this year, paramedics took part in a roundtable on occupational violence with NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard where measures to keep paramedics safe were put on the table.

The APA, however, says the state government and NSW Ambulance "have failed to implement strategies to keep paramedics safe".

Mr Pearce said they are "more and more frequently being impeded from doing their work or accessing the sick person, or while they're trying to treat the person, they encounter violent aggressors".


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