No day off for paramedics to receive bravery award over Lindt cafe siege

Paremedics at the Lindt Chocolat Cafe Siege. Photo: Andrew MearesNSW Ambulance will not give time off to paramedics who have been cited for bravery over the Lindt cafe siege to be presented with their awards.

The awards, to be presented at the NSW Ambulance Graduation ceremony on December 11, recognise the courage displayed by paramedics who worked through the siege in December last year.

Hostages Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson lost their lives in the siege, along with gunman Man Haron Monis.

But the ambulance service has declined to give recipients a day off to attend the awards if they are rostered to work.

Paramedics were also unable to attend the Premier’s thank you morning tea in January for emergency staff who worked through the siege, although their managers were able to go.

NSW Ambulance said 40 to 50 paramedics had been involved in the siege as it ran over a few days, and operationally it was not possible to remove that many people from the front line.

“Ideally, NSW Ambulance would like all paramedics receiving awards to attend the official ceremonies however this is not always operationally possible due to the need to respond to incoming requests for assistance from callers, particularly when high numbers of paramedics are being recognised on the same occasion,” the statement said.

“In such circumstances, NSW Ambulance works to organise an alternate means of presentation to paramedics to ensure awards recipients are recognised by their peers.”

Staff who received bravery awards for attending the Quakers Hill nursing home fire were also prevented from attending their ceremony.

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