02/06/2013 12:50 EST | Updated 04/08/2013 05:12 EDT

Toronto paramedics call for better protection from assault

Toronto paramedics are calling for stronger laws to better protect them in the line of duty after a vicious attack last month that left a paramedic with a broken leg.

The Toronto Paramedic Association wants the Criminal Code to be changed so that the punishments for assaulting these emergency medical workers match the harsh penalties for harming any other public safety officer, such as police.

"Paramedics place themselves in danger every time they respond to a call," said association president Geoff MacBride in a statement.

"Paramedics in the course of their duties are victims of assault regularly. The laws that protect them should match that dedication."

Paramedic Aron Sperling was assaulted last month after responding to a call at a Japanese restaurant. When Sperling arrived, he was viciously attacked and suffered a broken leg.

Sperling, who now walks with the aid of crutches, and other paramedics are calling for changes to the Criminal Code to include a specific charge for assaulting a paramedic.

They hope that the specific charge, and harsher penalties, will be a deterrent to assailants and decrease the number of attacks on paramedics.