"You're constantly reminded you've been violated and you don't know what the outcome will be."
NSW Police Association (NSWPA) representative Alex Christian had his life turned upside down when he was bitten on the bicep while arresting an offender outside Bathurst's Oxford Hotel in March.
For six months, he had to endure test after test and wait for doctors to give him the all-clear that he had not contracted any diseases, as NSW doesn't require offenders who bite, scratch or spit on emergency workers to submit to blood testing.
However, that could all change next year.
The NSW Government aims to introduce legislation that will make testing mandatory for anyone who exposes emergency service workers to the risk of a blood borne virus.
If frontline workers are put at risk in the course of their duties by a deliberate act of another person, a senior officer from their agency will do a risk assessment to determine if the source of the possible infection should be ordered to undergo mandatory testing.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said that those who put themselves in harm's way every day needed their safety to be prioritised.
The offender and everyone else involved moved on with their lives ... I was given a six-month sentence for simply doing my job.NSW Police Association (NSWPA) representative Alex Christian
"We want to give as much peace of mind to frontline workers as we can to alleviate the uncertainty they may experience if they have been exposed to bodily fluids," Mr Elliott said.
"Our justice and health ministers have been working hard on the details of this scheme, with the help of strong advocates like the police association and the Public Service Association, so I'm happy to say we are delivering."
Mr Christian has welcomed the news, saying it was a long time coming.
"I know firsthand how miserable the situation can be waiting six months for the all clear. No one cares about you more than you do," he said.
"The offender and everyone else involved have long moved on with their lives, whilst I was given a six-month sentence essentially for simply doing my job.
"It's disgusting, this law should have been introduced twenty years ago but no one's spoken out until recently."
We want to give as much peace of mind to frontline workers as we can.Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott
He said what is proposed is important legislation and thanked the NSW Government and the Labor Party for supporting it.
"It's very reassuring that the government and the opposition are hearing the NSWPA concerns; the NSWPA has worked very hard to get this extremely important legislation tabled in parliament and hopefully that happens early next year," Mr Christian said.
"After all, who protects the protectors?"
While he has been able to return to work, albeit in a reduced capacity, Mr Christian is still dealing with the mental scars from the traumatic situation.
And the incident is likely to stay with him for the rest of his life.
Knowing the ongoing pain an ordeal like this can cause, Mr Christian wants to see there be a mandatory minimum sentence for anyone who assaults an on duty emergency service worker.
It's something he hopes the NSWPA will pursue in future.
"If we live in a civilised society, it should be six months. You can't have people treat frontline officers like a punching bag and then leave the court laughing," he said.
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