Paramedics in line of fire

Helen Berry. PHOTO: Emma Hillier
IT’S NOT OKAY: Helen Narayan has experienced more than her fair share of abuse while on the job but legislation is in place to prosecute offenders. PHOTO: Emma Hillier

PARAMEDICS in Wangaratta are constantly on guard from violence with alcohol and the drug ice making the job “unpredictable” and “scary”.

An industry veteran of 27 years, Helen Narayan, was in the first 10 female paramedics to join Ambulance Victoria when a change regulation no longer excluded women.

But since then she has witnessed a change in the level of violence coming directly from the people they’re trying to help, with rates on the rise in Wangaratta.

Ms Narayan, who has worked at Wangaratta Ambulance Station since 2000, told the Chronicle that she’s been assaulted on numerous occasions during her career.

“I’ve been king hit, head butted, kicked in the head, spat at and now the violence is so much more prevalent,” Ms Narayan said.

“Even in Wangaratta which used to be such a safe place, you can’t assume that everyone is safe and it’s nice.

“Even though the house might look good you just don’t know and people have so much potential because of drugs and alcohol.

“Before we could predict this sort of behaviour coming but now with the drug ice it’s actually really scary.

“We’ve got to really look after ourselves and really think about our safety.

“When someone’s nice I think oh my god, I can’t believe how nice they are – some people are so nice, and others aren’t.”

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