Ambo vol­un­teers praised

North West Telegraph - - Telegraph News - Sophia Con­stan­tine

Vol­un­teers play an in­stru­men­tal role in the ef­fec­tive de­liv­ery of Hed­land’s am­bu­lance ser­vices, con­tribut­ing more than 13,000 vol­un­teer hours and at­tend­ing more than 3100 call-outs within the past year.

St John Am­bu­lance WA has more than 3700 clin­i­cal vol­un­teers across re­gional WA who work along­side paramedics to pro­vide emer­gency med­i­cal care, 432 of who work in the North West.

In­for­ma­tion re­leased in the past two weeks re­vealed the State’s Coun­try Am­bu­lance Ser­vice re­ceived the same level of train­ing as pro­fes­sional, ca­reer paramedics in some other coun­tries.

St John Am­bu­lance WA re­gional man­ager An­drew Graf­fen said the Hed­land sub cen­tre was lucky to have a num­ber of ded­i­cated vol­un­teers and a com­mit­ted para­medic group to en­sure con­ti­nu­ity of ser­vice.

“Vol­un­teers at the Hed­land sub cen­tre are in­valu­able to the lo­cal com­mu­nity, ded­i­cat­ing their time to care for the health and well­be­ing of the com­mu­nity in Hed­land and the sur­round­ing re­gion, en­sur­ing ac­cess to high-qual­ity pre-hos­pi­tal care,” he said.

St John Coun­try Am­bu­lance Ser­vice gen­eral man­ager Ju­lian Smith said clin­i­cal train­ing equal to that un­der­taken by emer­gency med­i­cal tech­ni­cians in some overseas am­bu­lance ser­vices al­lowed clin­i­cal vol­un­teers to help save lives. “It’s in­cor­rect to as­sume that just be­cause some­one is a vol­un­teer they’re less able to han­dle emer­gency sit­u­a­tions and pro­vide the high­est level of pa­tient care,” he said.

“When we speak to overseas paramedics about our vol­un­teer work­force, they’re of­ten blown away by the kind of skills that can be ac­quired by reg­u­lar mem­bers of the com­mu­nity.”

Mr Smith said de­spite coun­try vol­un­teers fac­ing chal­lenges dif­fer­ent to that in metropoli­tan ar­eas, re­gional crews con­sis­tently re­sponded to emer­gency calls faster than their coun­ter­parts in cap­i­tal cities out­side of WA.

“Our re­gional crews are de­liv­er­ing a truly world-class am­bu­lance ser­vice to all cor­ners of WA and that is re­flected in data we have coming through,” Mr Smith said.

St John Am­bu­lance Hed­land is seek­ing both clin­i­cal and non­clin­i­cal vol­un­teers to join the team.

Those in­ter­ested can ap­ply on­line at stjohnam­bu­lance. com.au.

Pic­ture: Sophia Con­stan­tine

St John para­medic Crys­tal Body and vol­un­teer para­medic Brooke Hey­wood.

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