Attacks on paramedics trigger PPSS research project on need for body protection

From: PPSS
Published: Wed Aug 25 2010

"Too many paramedics are still opposed to wearing stab vests or other forms of protection, due to simple misperception of such protective equipment", says Robert Kaiser, CEO of body armour consultancy PPSS.

"We are aware of all internal surveys, conducted by NHS Ambulance Trusts up and down the country, concluding that stab vests are not wanted by their frontline staff".

Robert Kaiser however strongly believes this is simply due to ‘technical and design misperception’ of body armour.

"I have recently met members of the Association of Professional Ambulance Personnel (APAP) and a number of worried paramedics".

"Many professionals still associate stab vests or similar types of body protection with the type of body armour worn by police officers over the past many years".

"Many paramedics still believe stab vests are 6kg heavy, 1 inch thick, bulky, uncomfortable, restrictive and aggressive and confrontational looking. But this is so far away from the truth".

"We are fully aware that the majority of incidents have got nothing to do with edged weapons, knives or needles. The majority of assaults are what we class as ‘blunt trauma related incidents’. This is why we have developed concealable, 4mm thin, 2.1kg light stab vests and body protection that protects the wearer from any type of knife and needle, but more importantly also from punches, kicks and any type of blows".

"Incidents, such as the attack on a paramedic in Merseyside on 5th August 2010, the attack on an Aberdeen based paramedic on 12th August 2010 and the attack on a Norfolk based paramedic on the 16th August, all highlight the fact that assaults on those who serve and care every day are still a sad part of today’s society".

In order to get a clear understanding of the need and perception of body protection within ambulance professionals, PPSS has now launched its own survey, inviting all paramedics to visit and complete their online survey:

Mr Kaiser explains: "I think it is time to really ask paramedics the right questions and educate them in a caring and supportive manner. Let’s show them what can be done and what type of body protection has been designed and developed with their personal safety and comfort in mind".

Jonathan Fox, Press Officer of the Association of Professional Ambulance Personnel (APAP), commenting on the launch of this survey said: "We welcome this initiative which we hope will give some much needed balance to this contentious debate and finally reflect the narrative of front-line ambulance crews who continue to face the treat of violence on a regular basis".

Mr Fox continued:" Body armour is only part of a package of measures for a safer working environment, but its absence continues to undermine the efficacy of other measure which are already in place. APAP has been campaigning for body armour provision since 1997 and it is time that it finally happened and we put the safety of our personnel first".

Mr Kaiser of PPSS is strongly recommending to all NHS Ambulance Trusts to re-look at the potential use of stab vests within their authority. He is saying body armour have now been carefully developed and designed, after listening to paramedics and gaining a clear understanding of their operational risks, concerns, needs and duties.

Should you have any questions, then please feel free to contact PPSS on +44 (0) 845 5193 95 email
Company: PPSS
Contact Name: Robert Kaiser
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 0044 845 5193 953

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