A 23-year-old man has been charged after officials say a Durham Region paramedic was “violently assaulted” at an Oshawa hospital, resulting in calls for action to prevent a similar incident from happening in the future.
Durham Regional Police said in a statement issued Monday afternoon that emergency crews were called to a Wilson Road South home in Oshawa for reports there was a distraught man at the property.
“The suspect was apprehended under the Mental Health Act after ingesting unknown drugs. The suspect was violent and verbally aggressive towards the officers and paramedics at the home,” police wrote, adding the man was then taken to Lakeridge Health Oshawa.
“While he waited to be assessed, he continued to be disruptive and verbally abusive towards hospital staff, paramedics and the officers. The victim was attempting to calm the male down when he was assaulted and suffered an injury that required medical treatment.”
Police said the man, who wasn’t identified, was charged with assault causing bodily harm and uttering death threats. Officers said the accused was held for a mental health assessment.
The president of the union that represents the injured paramedic issued a statement calling for “better mechanisms” to protect paramedics and “ensure they are safe at work.” The union said on Twitter that the paramedic was “violently assaulted” while completing paperwork.
“CUPE 1764 is devastated to learn of this absolutely reprehensible assault on one of our paramedics. Every worker should have a safe and healthy work environment,” Kristie Osmond-Jones told Global News in a statement on Monday.
“Violence is not part of the job. We look forward to working with our employer to ensure that this never happens again.”
The Durham Region Health Department said on Twitter that the health and safety of paramedics “is a top priority.”
“Abuse or assault of our paramedics in any setting will not be tolerated. Paramedic Services will fully cooperate with any subsequent investigation regarding this incident,” officials wrote.
Meanwhile, anyone with information about Saturday’s incident was asked to call police at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 2931 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.