Ambulance staff in London are to be given lessons in self-defence and how to
defuse dangerous situations in order to improve the safety of paramedics.
London Ambulance Service has also introduced a register of high-risk
addresses so that crews are aware where there have been violent incidents in
the past, and it is to start trials of two different types of stab-proof vests.
Wendy Foers, HR director for LAS, said the measures are being brought in to
continue the recent reduction in the number of violent incidents against staff.
The self-defence course content is still being put together and it will be
launched in two to three months’ time in areas where ambulance crews are most
Foers said, "It is very much about recognising dangerous situations and
being able to deal with them, particularly with talk-down techniques. They will
also be given training in things like push-away techniques."
The register of high-risk addresses was launched in April, and the central
ambulance control system now alerts crews if they going to an address where
there has been previous violent incidents.
"We want to give our crews as much information as possible and alert
them of any potential dangers," said Foers.
By Ben Willmott