** Drive for mandatory sentencing for those who assault Queensland paramedics in Australia rejected by government
** BC Ambulance has historic New Year’s Eve, noting busiest day ever recorded
** A Queensland petition aimed at introducing mandatory sentencing for those who assault paramedics has been rejected by the state’s attorney general. That is the word from The Queensland Times (Helen Spelitis/January 5) which said Yvette D’Ath said current sentencing guidelines are entirely adequate. D’Ath said mandatory terms remove the discretionary powers for judges and fail to recognize the complexities of the sentencing process. According to the newspaper, the petition requested a 6 month minimum sentence. D’Ath’s decision has enraged paramedics who said the ruling is evidence the government is soft on crime. Opposition MP Ian Walker, meanwhile, said the issue would likely become a major focus of the next election.
** BC paramedics passed their busiest day on record New Year’s Eve. News 1130 (Jill Drews/January 5) said the festive night saw medics called out to more than 1,800 calls across the province. According to the news site, the opioid epidemic was one of the reasons for the upswing which began earlier in December. BC Health Services spokesman Linda Lupini said, in addition, calls for falls have jumped 50 per cent as the weather has recently worsened. Lupini said 800 fall calls had been received in recent weeks. The holiday period and competing high priority calls have also negatively affected response times.