St John Ambulance council chairlady Dame Jean Kekedo has raised concerns over lack of laws protecting the St John Ambulance officers despite it being the only service of its type in the country.
“There are no laws protecting St John officers, making it illegal to falsely call the ambulance service or to hinder an ambulance officer from performing their duties,” Kekedo said. “There needs to be tough laws in place to protect our only ambulance first responders, our Green Angels, so they can go about saving lives,” she said.
She raised this concern following an attack on two St John ambulance officers on Saturday night in Lae while they were on duty.
Based on a media statement from St John Ambulance, the attacker made a false call to the ambulance service to lure the ambulance to the scene where they got attacked.
The officers escaped without physical injury but were traumatised by the incident and the damage to ambulance was worth tens of thousands of Kina.
“There is now one less ambulance on duty to service the Lae community until it is repaired.
“There is no law enabling the ambulance service to see the exact location of the 111 caller at the time the call is made,” Dame Kekedo said.
“That would help officers identify fake calls and also quickly locate casualties in rural locations without street addresses.”
St John CEO Matt Cannon said despite the attacks, the ambulance will continue its duty to service the communities in Lae.
“We simply cannot stop servicing the communities in which we are attacked because the communities need our help.
“The actions of one individual in a community should not put at risk the lives of all others,” he said.
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