Along with police and firefighters, paramedics are our most important public servants, they find us in our worst moments and try to help us through them.
They save lives.
They deserve total gratitude for the job they do, yet paramedics often face physical and verbal abuse from those they are trying to help.
Our story today on page three tells us of yet another shocking attack on paramedics.
An ice-affected Dubbo man pleaded guilty to assaulting two Nowra-based paramedics called to assist him when he was suffering chest pains.
Court papers revealed Wayne Victor Craig, 36, hit a 48-year-old Nowra paramedic with a defibrillator while being treated in the back of an ambulance on the way to Shoalhaven District Hospital late on April 6.
He also grabbed a pair of trauma scissors and threatened to kill the paramedic and his partner.
A wrestle on the floor of the ambulance ensued, and the scissors were prised from his hand, and Craig was restrained until police arrived.
No one should have to go to work each day wondering if they will be physically or verbally abused.
But it seems our paramedics do.
As a society, we should be concerned that the constant worry about possible abuse must affect the mental health of those who are doing a job to save and protect lives.
But what can be done to help those in the front line?
A zero tolerance approach must be taken to those who seek to harm paramedics and for that matter police and firefighters.
Paramedics must be confident that if they suffer any abuse or physical violence whilst on the job the offenders will be dealt with severely.
This might be the only way to get the message out to those who seek to cause harm through violence, hurt an ambo and you'll be locked up for a very long time.