Mile­stone for para­medic

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

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.

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