A NSW Parliamentary inquiry into police officers, paramedics and firefighters being bullied and harassed in the workplace has heard hundreds of harrowing accounts from individuals working in the emergency services.
According to ABC News, a former NSW Ambulance employee says workplace bullying and harassment was more devastating on her mental health than any trauma she experienced in her 25 years on the front line.
In responding to the allegations, NSW Ambulance released a statement saying they did not accept bullying and harassment in the workplace and was supportive of the inquiry.
“As an organisation tasked with the care of others, we have a responsibility to promote a healthy workplace,” a spokesperson said.
Dr Carlo Caponecchia, a workplace health and safety expert from the University of NSW told the ABC that bullying and harassment seemed to be prevalent in emergency services.
“Research shows that people in emergency services are not so much stressed by what they see on the road, it’s what happens to them when they get back at the depot, back at the station, in relation to their colleagues, in the support that they get or they don’t get from the service which they are employed by,” Caponecchia said.
According to Greens MP David Shoebridge the government needed to act and take the inquiry seriously to ensure work practices changed for those frontline workers.
Shoebridge told the ABC that we all depend on the police, fire brigade, SES and ambulances when we are in trouble.
“When they tell us they need help to deal with bullying we must act,” Shoebridge said.