Family Devastated: How Did The Ambos Get It So Wrong?
Australian Paramedics Association has back flipped on their public accusations.
A union that accused grieving family members of threatening paramedics has now issued an extraordinary apology, withdrawing the allegations.
On Sunday evening the Australian Paramedics Association (APA) issued a media statement condemning “the behaviour of a large group of angry males who threatened and assaulted paramedics trying to save the life of a 25-year-old man at Riverwood”. It was an allegation that was broadcast widely online and in morning television news.
But today the APA conceded ‘factual inaccuracies’ in its original statement. In short, it was all wrong.
READ MORE: Paramedics 'Attacked' In NSW
“At no time did Mr. Ibrahim’s family members obstruct or threaten paramedics whilst they were administering medical assistance to Mr. Ibrahim,” the apology said.
Hamze Ibrahim was the youngest of six children. Neighbours described him as a ‘lovely man’. His wife of three years found him unresponsive in their bed early on Sunday morning. His brother in-law performed CPR until paramedics arrived.
TEN Eyewitness News spoke with family members on Monday morning. They were clearly grieving and did not want to speak on camera. They were angry with the media and, as it turns out, they had good reason.
They explained the terrible situation had been made worse by morning media reports they’d got in the way of the five paramedics on scene. They were particularly distressed by claims from the APA that Mr Ibrahim suffered a suspected drug overdose.
The union secretary had even gone as far to blame the family for Mr Ibrahim’s death, accusing them of forcing paramedics to stop treatment and barricade themselves in a bedroom.
“On this occasion the stupidity of these people has taken the life of their family member. We don’t want any more people to face the horrifying situation of their loved ones dying because paramedics are unable to treat patients after threats of violence,” Secretary Steve Pearce said.
It is now clear this was wholly incorrect.
Family solicitor Raed Rahal told me family was also very upset at the “suggestion that they attacked the paramedics. It just did not happen.”
“There was screaming, there was yelling. A normal reaction from a mother, a brother to the news that the deceased cannot be saved. But there was no attack on the paramedics at all,” Mr Rahal said.
A member of a large family, it’s estimated approximately one hundred relatives were at the home when paramedics were on scene. Police were called to control the crowd and the scene was described as ‘volatile’ in a transmission on NSW Ambulance radio. However, there were no arrests.
TEN Eyewitness News has contacted the Ibrahim family for comment on the APA apology. Mr Rahal said a response is unlikely as Hamze’s funeral is scheduled for today.
His death is not considered suspicious. A chronic sufferer of sleep apnoea, it’s believed he stopped breathing and did not wake up.
It was an issue he was hoping to address, along with his obesity, through gastric sleeve surgery in Lebanon. Mr Ibrahim was due to fly out a day after he died.