Wagga paramedics have backed a proposal to trial body cameras in an effort to stop rising drug-fuelled violence against emergency medical workers.
The plan to introduce a trial across the state was discussed during a recent NSW Parliament budget estimates hearing.
Senior Health Department bureaucrats told the hearing that they would like to trial the cameras in regional and capital city areas.
Tumut's John Larter, who has served as a paramedic across NSW for 23 years, said the cameras would be a good addition if they could discourage violence or help prosecute offenders.
"In principle, anything that can be seen as a deterrent to people assaulting paramedics, anything that can be used later on to provide evidence that is indisputable in court, is obviously a good thing," he said.
However, Mr Larter said he had concerns for potential impacts on patient privacy and would want a guarantee that the footage would be used only in criminal cases.
"We have to be a little bit careful about the protection of people's privacy and their information," he said.
"The downside is that some people in the public might not be comfortable being treated in front of a camera.
"There would have to be some rules of engagement around any of that, as what you wouldn't want to happen would be people's privacy being eroded."
Mr Larter said he had been assaulted while working as a paramedic and officers were generally more cautious now, often waiting for police backup.
"There's been an increase in the different types of drugs used over the years," Mr Larter said.
"With heroin, people who used the drug would have the effect of it essentially putting them to sleep.
"With drugs like ice (methylamphetamine) it has the opposite effect; it can make people violent and very difficult to handle."
Two other Riverina paramedics who did not want their names used also welcomed the pending trial.
The Daily Advertiser understands that the Ambulance Service of NSW contacted its staff earlier this week to outline that the trial would go ahead on a voluntary basis with individual paramedics opting in to wear cameras.
The service also advised that paramedics would need a similar level of legal protection under the state's Surveillance Devices Act as NSW Police officers who used body cameras.
The Health Department referred questions on the trial to the Ambulance Service, which declined to comment.