October 16, 2018

** Ambulance Victoria in Australia to be fined millions in paramedic’s station suicide

AUSTRALIA NEWS

** The suicide of a Victoria paramedic from Heywood at his EMS station three years ago could see Ambulance Victoria fined $2.6 million. That is the word from The Age (Andrew Thomson/February 2) which said Clive Hawkes’ overdose death on January 20, 2015 has seen the service plead guilty to two Health and Safety Act violations. According to the newspaper, Hawkes died of drug toxicity from fentanyl and morphine he obtained at his workplace.  An investigation subsequent to his suicide found problems with the way the drugs were stored and disposed of, as well as with the manner in which paramedics handled the meds. A spokesman for Ambulance Victoria said several changes have now been implemented to tighten up oversight over narcotics. Along with more stringent monitoring, the service also instituted random drug testing of medics in January. Magistrate Cynthia Toose overseeing the case, meanwhile, said she will determine appropriate fines for the service by the end of the month.

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