Queensland Ambulance Service | Facebook

Island residents shocked after attack on likeable paramedic

UPDATE: FRASER Island residents remain in shock after the stabbing of "competent and likeable" paramedic Phil Switzer at the Happy Valley Ambulance Station.

Detectives and Scenes of Crime Officers from Maryborough are on the island investigating after the woman attacked Mr Switzer with a box knife, cutting his arm, stabbing his abdomen and leaving him unconscious.

Police believe at 3.30pm on Friday the woman visited the Queensland Ambulance Centre at Happy Valley requesting medical assistance.

Mr Switzer escorted her to the examination room before she pulled the knife and demanded medication.

After a struggle which saw Mr Switzer with cuts and stab wound, the woman fled the scene.

As the only paramedic on the island, the attack happened on the first day of Mr Switzer's week-long shift.

Eurong resident David Anderson works with Mr Switzer as a first responder on the island and is involved in the island's ambulance committee.

Mr Anderson spoke of the calm and caring nature of his injured colleague.

"I've been on jobs with him - he's a very competent and likeable paramedic," Mr Anderson said.

"He wouldn't have done anything to agitate her, he's not rude, he's not brash.

"He has a very good bedside manner, to use that term."

Residents of the island are still in shock following the incident in their piece of paradise.

"Everyone I've spoken with is gobsmacked," Mr Anderson said.

"You might expect that in some of the hotspots like the Gold Coast or Fortitude Valley in Brisbane - not Fraser Island."

Fraser Island can be notoriously dangerous and even deadly.

Last financial year LifeFlight, formally known as CareFlight, flew 71 missions to the island.

Transporting many of those patients from the incident location to the helicopter pad was Mr Switzer and other island paramedics.

"If anything ever happens to a loved one the first person you call is a paramedic - we need them," Mr Anderson declared.

EARLIER: MINISTER for Health and Ambulance Services and QAS Commissioner Russell Bowles has condemned the assault of a paramedic while assisting a woman on Fraser Island.

In a media conference held outside the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Mr Bowles said: "Any assault against a health worker is unacceptable, but this alleged incident is a particularly disgraceful criminal act.

"Paramedics are the carers of our society. They are the ones who look after people in their absolutely worst and most desperate moments. They don't deserve to be violently set upon anywhere, especially inside their own ambulance station. As the Commissioner this makes me sick and we have zero tolerance for it."

QAS Commissioner Russell Bowles addresses media outside the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital.
QAS Commissioner Russell Bowles addresses media outside the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital. Queensland Ambulance Service | Facebook

A 56-year-old male paramedic is recovering in hospital. 

"Our thoughts are with the officer and his family and we will ensure he has all the support he needs to make a full recovery," Mr Bowles said.

Earlier the Queensland Police Service confirmed the woman was still at large.

"We will also be working closely with the Queensland Police Service to ensure this person is brought to justice," Mr Bowles said.

Listen to the audio recording of the media conference:


EARLIER: THE paramedic stabbed and left unconscious by a woman on Fraser Island is still in a stable condition and the woman still at large.

A Queensland Police Service spokesperson said the investigations are ongoing but they have been advised there are no changes to the male paramedic's condition and the woman has not been found.

A spokesperson for the Queensland Ambulance Service said a live press conference is currently being held outside Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital. 

The audio will be made available shortly.

The injured paramedic is airlifted off Fraser Island
The injured paramedic is airlifted off Fraser Island Queensland Ambulance Service | Facebook


EARLIER: A PARAMEDIC is in a stable condition in hospital after being cut, stabbed and left unconscious by a woman he was assisting on Fraser Island.

According to the Queensland Police Service, a woman presented at the Queensland Ambulance Centre at Happy Valley on Friday at 3.30pm requesting medical assistance.

When a male paramedic escorted her into the examination room she allegedly produced a box knife and demanded medication.

There was a struggle and the paramedic received a cut to his arm and a single stab wound to his abdomen. He was rendered unconscious.

The woman then fled the scene.

Police attended giving assistance to the paramedic and establishing a crime scene.

The 56-year-old male paramedic was transported to the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital in a stable condition.

Maryborough detectives and Scenes of Crime Officers travelled to Fraser Island on Saturday morning to assist with the investigation.

The woman is described as being in her late 20s or early 30s, caucasian, approximately 175cm tall, of a slim build, with an Australian accent.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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