Griffith paramedic alleged culture of bullying in NSW Ambulance service

A GRIFFITH paramedic has spoken out about bullying and harassment within the ranks of the NSW Ambulance service.

It comes as NSW Ambulance facesrenewed claims of endemic bullying and harassment statewide from paramedics still working within their ranks, who say the toxic culture has not been quashed despite numerous inquiries and calls for help.

"The problem has always been that there is a culture of bullying and an ‘old boys club’ within the ambulance service,” the Griffith paramedic said. 

"Often it is not overt, it is covert bullying; lots of little things over time.”

He alleged the incidents were made even more distressing by a lack of support available and by victims being further harassed and silenced by outdated management approaches when they did speak up.

The paramedic spoke on the condition of anonymity, saying if the ambulance service knew he had done so it would cost him his career.

“There is a fear among ambos of saying anything because the ambulance service operates on a culture of bullying, intimidation and fear and will very strongly protect its public image at all costs,” he said.

With trauma already part of a paramedic’s job description, the man said a volatile work environment made the horrors they saw on the job even harder.

“We remember places not by virtue, of ‘yeah my kids were on that swing’ (but as) that’s where somebody hanged themselves,” he said.

“I remember that corner not because I drive past it every day, but because three kids died there when a drunk driver hit them. 

"With all of that, why does your time in the job have to be absolutely crap as well?" 

NSW Ambulance said there had been no instances of bullying referred to their Professional Standards Unit regarding staff at Griffith over the past 12 months and only one instance of bullying had been referred from across the wider Riverina during that period. The statement said since joining NSW Ambulance in February, chief executive Dominic Morgan had made his focus on addressing any issues surrounding the well-being of frontline staff.

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