A former acting duty manager with Ambulance Tasmania has told a coronial inquest drug and alcohol testing should be mandatory for on-shift paramedics.
The second day of the inquest into the death of former paramedic Damian Michael Crump heard from Kim Fazackerley who was possibly the last person to see him before he took his own life on December 23, 2016.
Ms Fazackerley was the manager on duty the night Mr Crump entered the Glenorchy station while he was on leave, under the pretense he was there to collect a hard drive he owned.
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She told the court she later viewed him on CCTV in the building's drug store.
Ms Fazackerley said when she confronted him about it in the station's garage, he handed over six packets of morphine.
She said she attempted to guide him into the office for a chat about the situation, but he had insisted he wanted to go home which she refused to agree with.
"He did say 'please don't ring the police or you will kill me'," Ms Fazackerley said.
She said she took a phone call and turned his back on him for 30 seconds.
But when she turned back around, he was gone.
"There was enough evidence then that he shouldn't have had access to stations, that he shouldn't have been at work," Ms Fazackerley said.
"I wouldn't have turned my back on him in hindsight, but there was so much going through my head at the time."
The inquest heard on Monday that Mr Crump had a long history of struggles with mental illness and drug abuse, both of the prescription and illicit varieties.
The police officer charged with investigating his death, Terrence McCulloch, told Monday's hearing that two paramedics had admitted to recreational use of illicit drugs in interviews.
One of those had told him they had worked at least one shift under the influence while driving an ambulance with patients onboard.
Ms Fazackerley said drug and alcohol testing at Ambulance Tasmania stations should be required.
"At the end of the day, we have an obligation to turn up with a clear mind," she said.
"We're driving vehicles at great speeds, we're making drug calculations that could affect a patient's outcomes, we're treating patients at 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning.
"The last thing we need is drugs or alcohol in our system while we're doing it.
"We should be concerned if somebody has drugs and alcohol constantly in their system and who is turning up to shifts and treating patients.
"If Damian was tested, we would have found out that he had a problem with drug use and then he should have been supported to get help."
The inquest before coroner Olivia McTaggart continues on Wednesday.
The inquest will not only look into the circumstances surround Mr Crump's death, but Ambulance Tasmania's response to missing drugs or unauthorised taking of drugs.
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