Milestone for paramedic
PORT Douglas paramedic Ian Day has been recognised with a medal for 25 years of service to the Queensland Ambulance Service.
Assistant Comissioner for Cairns and Hinterland, Michelle Baxter said such an achievement was rarely seen these days.
As a young man living in his home state of South Australia Ian came across a two-car, head-on collision on his way home one evening.
“I didn’t know what to do. People were screaming, they were injured,” he said.
“They were quite severe injuries and three other cars were pulled up, but none of us knew what to do but ring triple-0. I just felt so inadequate.
“After it all finished I thought, I have to do something about this.”
That was Ian’s introduction to more than 30 years in the industry and 25 years as a paramedic.
Throughout his career he has worked in Tully, Cairns and Palm Island, where he received an Ambulance Service Medal for his work during difficult times. After Palm Island Ian moved to Port Douglas, looking for a more “relaxed” lifestyle, but he wasn’t let off so easily.
On his second job he reported to a drowning at Four Mile Beach and, with the help of an off-duty doctor and a lifeguard, the patient was resuscitated.
Ian said he loved working in Port Douglas, but working so closely with the community could be problematic at times, particularly with the constant worry that he might know one of his accident patients. Sadly, he already has reported to the scene of an emergency involving a loved one.
When he was in South Australia he attended a car accident and was told that his sister was one of the victims.
She escaped with just a head gash, but for Ian the incident serves as a constant re- minder of the gravity of his job.
“When I got to hospital it dawned on me that that could have been really horrible,” he said.
“A lot of people ask me how do you cope with the things you see, and I put it back to our training. We’re so well trained.
“When you think back on all the lives you’ve encoun- tered, we don’t encounter people with a handshake — it’s usually because of a medical problem or an emergency.
“You’re always walking into different situations and most of the time they’re bad or tragic ones. So I suppose saving lives is the biggest achievement in being a paramedic overall.”
Port Douglas paramedic Ian Day receives his 25 years of service medal from Asst Commissioner Cairns and Hinterland Michelle Baxter.