NEEDING ANSWERS: Sharon Jenkins stands outside the Hamilton Ambulance station on Tuesday, waiting for answers from NSW Ambulance after her husband, Tony Jenkins, died by suicide in his paramedic’s uniform on April 9. Photo: Simon McCarthySharon 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 afteranunscheduled meeting with senior ambulance officerson 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 thestation 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 meetingto be moved to different positions whileWorkCover and NSW Ambulance investigate the events of April 9.
A spokesperson for NSW Ambulancesaid the service hadextended its condolences to the family of Mr Jenkins “and will continue to do everythingto support themduring this difficult time”.
“NSW Ambulance haspromised the familythey will be given thefirstdetailed report into Mr Jenkins death as soon as it’s finalised in the next few weeks,” the spokesperson said.
They said the service hadintroduced a range of new programsto supportstaff, andwill be introducingnew reforms tofurtherimprove 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.”
Lifeline: 13 11 14