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Last Updated: Monday, 10 July 2006, 12:30 GMT 13:30 UK
Paramedics want stab-proof vests
Paramedic
Paramedics are taught how to avoid violent situations
Several paramedics in Kent are calling for stab-proof vests to be issued to all staff on frontline duties.

It comes after the vests were issued to colleagues in London and Essex in an attempt to protect them from hand guns, knives, and spikes, such as needles.

The issue is due to be discussed next week at a meeting between the Unison union and managers of the new Kent, Surrey and Sussex ambulance trust.

Paramedic and union spokesman Ken Davis said the issue had been raised before.

We try to ensure that our staff avoid such situations
Chris Howden, South East Coast Ambulance Service

"There is a train of thought that if you give someone stab vests you do look to be slightly provocative... and a stab vest is obviously not a guarantee that you still wouldn't get stabbed," he told BBC Radio Kent.

Mr Davis added that if paramedics were involved with an incident where there were weapons, they called the police before attending to the patient.

Chris Howden, acting director of patient services for the South East Coast Ambulance Service said: "We try to ensure that our staff avoid such situations."

Paramedics received personal safety training in which they were taught how to avoid violence, he added.


SEE ALSO
Paramedics' body armour discussed
04 Nov 05 |  Scotland

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