Paramedic’s tearful revelation of colleagues’ ‘rape plan’ joke
DISTURBING details about Ambulance Tasmania's apparent toxic workplace culture have been revealed at an inquest, with one paramedic describing how she was made the butt of a "rape plan" joke.
The woman, giving evidence at day three of the inquest into fellow paramedic Damian Crump's death, said she became aware of a "big joke" about her having her drink spiked with Rohypnol before being put in a van, tied up "spread eagle" and assaulted.
She wept as she told Coroner Olivia McTaggart about the "rape plan" and how a manager dissuaded her from taking it further as they couldn't "guarantee how that will affect your career".
The woman said "Crumpy" watched what happened to her and became "disillusioned", especially after seeing how mental health and trauma were managed.
"No-one ever asked if I was okay, nothing ever happened to change the culture," she said.
"He would talk about how wrong it was, how frustrating it was.
"He would say speaking up would not end well for you."
The woman said she was aware of Mr Crump's suicide plan - which he kept on his phone and ultimately carried out in December 2016 after accessing the agency's drug stores - but that it wasn't unusual to hear about similar plans in the workplace.
"Honestly, I could give you 20 suicide plans that people have discussed at work," she said.
"I know there's at least three people at the moment, when we've been on shift together and discussed what the perfect suicide plan might be … I know of three at the moment that are really struggling."
The woman said she was aware Mr Crump's job was impacting him negatively and that he'd been accessing a powerful sedative that he referred to as "the milky dream".
"It was the same drug that Michael Jackson used," she said.
"You wouldn't (buy it), you would have had to illegally sourced it.
"I questioned him about it and asked where he was getting it from … I knew he was really uncomfortable that I might start making a fuss about it."
The woman also said Mr Crump felt he needed to keep his sexuality a secret from his workplace.
She said decisions were made randomly at the agency about staff - not on merit but by opinion, and said management and security of Ambulance Tasmania's drug stores were "lackadaisical".
The woman also said workers were "put on the bus" - managed out of the workplace - if they were "being difficult" or did "anything that caused them any extra work or grief".
The inquest continues.
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Originally published as Paramedic's tearful revelation of colleagues' 'rape plan' joke