Slain paramedic Steven Tougher’s family heartbreak
The family and wife of a slain paramedic have broken down in tears while speaking out about the “hero” who was allegedly stabbed to death while on the job.
Steven Tougher was sitting in his ambulance doing paperwork while taking a meal break in the carpark of a McDonald’s in Campbelltown on April 14.
There were emotional scenes as his family visited the site where Mr Tougher died to lay their own flowers in the mountain of tributes placed by mourners.
Over 20 members of his family as well as paramedics joined together to honour him.
His wife Madison and mother Jillian broke down during a press conference where the family addressed the death and spoke about their “hero”.
Mr Tougher was newly married when he was killed, with his wife due to give birth to the pair’s second child in just a few weeks.
The pair burst into tears after his father Jeff Tougher began to lose composure while thanking those who put themselves in danger to help his son.
“His compassion was unbounded and his commitment to the cause or for all things, nursing, ambulance and paramedics was rock solid,” Mr Tougher said.
The grieving father also acknowledged how his son’s death has caused a surge of heartbreak in the community.
“We felt the loss in our own way and it‘s okay to personalise your experience whether you knew Steven or not, the the loss is still the same,” he said.
“The community’s lost a real member who fought for us, and that’s a loss for everybody.”
The paramedic’s family has been in discussion with the NSW government to bring in “Steven’s Law” to increase the penalty for those who attack paramedics and other frontline workers while on the job.
“I hope that the loss of Steven will not be for nothing, and that is senseless act. can be a catalyst for change, to support better working conditions for his brothers and sisters in blue,” he said.
“Nobody deserves the grief that this event has brought forward.
“We need to change the laws to protect those who put themselves out to make the community a better place.”
In 2022, the Perrottet government introduced stronger laws to increase the maximum penalty for those convicted of assaulting a frontline worker – such as a paramedic, doctor or firefighter – to 14 years in prison.
The legislation was brought in after a disturbing rise in attacks on emergency workers during the Covid-19 lockdowns.
The Minns government is believed to be working through what reforms are needed to bolster protections for paramedics according to NSW Health Minister Ryan Park.
“We will certainly be looking at all the raft of those measures. Sentencing, fines, penalties as well as equipment. That will come in the days and weeks ahead,” Mr Park said on the Today Show on Monday morning.
“My priority at the moment is to make sure that family is supported, his colleagues are supported, his colleagues are supported and the broader ambulance family.”
Originally published as Slain paramedic Steven Tougher’s family heartbreak