Wild Medic off to Vanuatu
COLIN Salter has dedicated his post high school life to health care and, after serving rural communities for more than eight years, the Capella ambulance officer-in-charge is prepared to embark on a life changing experience.
Joined by his “good mate” and colleague, Middlemount officer-in-charge Chris Fulton, the two paramedics will become the first to volunteer their time, skills and services with Pro Medical – the ambulance service in Vanuatu – through the Wild Medic Project.
Colin, a nurse of 15 years-turned paramedic, said he read an article on the project earlier this year and contacted the founder Steve Whitfield to offer his services and skills.
He and Chris, who Colin trained with in 2007, will fund and volunteer four weeks of service from February 2016, providing pre-hospital emergency care.
“I just thought, oh geez that would be really interesting to give back to people,” Colin said.
“Apart from just giving to people, I get something back.
“Obviously it’s going to be a totally different culture, looking at different environments, how they deal with different things compared to how we do here.”
Colin said he had “not a clue” what lay ahead for himself and Chris but he appreciated the opportunity to experience a “different world” and learn how his counterparts in Vanuatu managed to provide health care with their limited services in comparison to Australia.
“I am not going just for the fun of it,” Colin said.
Steve Whitfield said he and two friends and fellow paramedics, Mick and Jarrod, founded the Wild Medic Project in response to the Nepal earthquake in April this year.
After interest from people, such as Chris and Colin, to offer their services in Vanuatu, this option had now “become a reality”, and they also serviced Mongolia.
“We began fundraising to rebuild a collapsed medical post in Nepal that went down in April and this is now the location for our medical camps,” Steve said.
“We had a few inquiries about other locations, which led us to explore other opportunities, including working with the Vanuatu ambulance service.
“This has been successful and Colin and Chris will be our first Wild Medics to head there in February.
“The opportunities we provide for paramedics in relation to personal and professional development is unparalleled.”
Colin and Chris have been busy pulling together a wheelbarrow full of goodies which he will raffle on December 31 at midday, to raise funds for the Wild Medic Project.
“They can use those funds for buying medical resources like dressings and slings whatever they need in places,” Colin said.
Tickets are sold in Capella, Clermont and Middlemount, or purchase can be arranged by contacting Colin on 0401 163 755.
NEW HORIZONS: Capella Ambulance officer-in-charge Colin Salton (pictured) is set to embark on a life-changing experience assisting Vanuatu paramedics alongside Middlemount officer-in-charge Chris Fulton. INSET: Wheelbarrow full of treats to be raffled for Wild Medic Project.