Sharon Jenkins feels she has been forced to “humiliate herself” to get the answers from NSW Ambulance after her husband died by suicide in his paramedic’s uniform in April.
Tony Jenkins, a Hunter paramedic of 28 years, died hours after an unscheduled meeting with senior ambulance officers on April 9 about his alleged use of the opioid Fentanyl taken from Hunter ambulance stations.
“Two managers took him into a room for an hour-and-a-half (and) we don't know what went on,” Mrs Jenkins said. “They dropped him back to his car and he was dead within two hours.”
A toxicology report showed that Mr Jenkins had no Fentanyl in his system when he died.
In June, NSW Ambulance chief Dominic Morgan issued an unprecedented apology to paramedics, admitting the service had failed some employees.
Read more: Cidney Jenkins pens an open letter to NSW Ambulance(May 25, 2018)
Mrs Jenkins finished work on Tuesday and headed straight to the Hamilton Ambulance station. She and her daughter Cidney took framed photographs of Mr Jenkins and stood on the corner outside the station on Denison Street, calling for a response to her husband’s death from NSW Ambulance.
“I will stay here for quite a while,” she said.
Mrs Jenkins wants to see the notes taken during the meeting and for the two senior ambulance officers who conducted the meeting to be moved to different positions while WorkCover and NSW Ambulance investigate the events of April 9.
A spokesperson for NSW Ambulance said the service had extended its condolences to the family of Mr Jenkins “and will continue to do everything to support them during this difficult time”.
“NSW Ambulance has promised the family they will be given the first detailed report into Mr Jenkins death as soon as it's finalised in the next few weeks,” the spokesperson said.
They said the service had introduced a range of new programs to support staff, and will be introducing new reforms to further improve health and wellbeing.
Read more: Paramedic’s families united by grief, seeking answers from NSW Ambulance(June 14, 2018)
Mrs Jenkins said she was trying to keep her calls for answers from “getting hysterical”, but said she felt her hand had been forced.
“I feel like they are pushing me to do this,” she said. “And it’s not what I want – it’s what’s right.”
“Tony deserves that. He was a paramedic for 28 years. He was a great guy. He was struggling, I suppose, and he asked for help.”
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