A paramedics union has issued a grovelling apology after accusing the family of a dying man of forming an angry mob and attacking ambulance workers while they attempted to save his life.
Sydney man Hamze Ibrahim, 25, tragically died outside a home in Sydney’s south on Sunday morning after suffering a suspected cardiac arrest. Shortly after the news broke, the Australian Paramedics Association (APA) released a damning statement accusing some of his family members of attacking paramedics and preventing them from treating Ibrahim.
Now the New South Wales APA has taken back its initial claims in a lengthy apology, after carrying out an investigation into exactly what happened at the scene.
“We have identified factual inaccuracies in our media release and wish to now correct these,” the statement read. “APA (NSW) acknowledges that any statement in the previous media release to the effect that Mr. Ibrahim’s family members either contributed or were in any way responsible for his death is wholly incorrect and should not have been published.”
It went on to confirm that none of Ibrahim’s family obstructed or threatened paramedics at any time, and said that while ambulance workers “did everything they could”, they were unable to save him.
“APA (NSW) deeply regrets publishing its previous media release and unreservedly apologises for any grief, embarrassment or distress it caused to family members of Mr. Ibrahim,” the statement concluded.
It comes after they originally branded family members “stupid” and “outrageous” and claimed they had joined up to 80 angry men outside the property to prevent paramedics working on the patient.
“Paramedics were forced to fend off angry males who eventually forced them to stop treating the patient who was in cardiac arrest and subsequently died,” APA (NSW) Secretary Steve Pearce said at the time.
“We had the outrageous situation where a violent mob demanded paramedics hand over a defibrillator and drugs, saying they would treat the patient.”
Pearce added: “This is outrageous behaviour by members of a family whose actions have most likely contributed to a death that may well have been avoidable… Paramedics are being subjected to this type of aggression all too often and it is time those who think it is acceptable to attack paramedics woke up to themselves.”
Ibrahim’s cousin Issa previously denied anyone was aggressive towards paramedics, telling the Kyle and Jackie O Show on Monday: “[The claims] make my cousin sound like he’s a junkie, when he had never taken a drug in his life.”
Ibrahim’s family’s lawyer Raed Rahal later added in a statement: “The inaccurate comments made on behalf of the association, which in essence, blames the family for the death of Mr Ibrahim, are totally devoid of compassion and empathy.”