Ambos’ job no island holiday
MAGNETIC Island’s singleofficer ambulance station has responded to almost 6000 incidents in five years, the equivalent of treating its entire population nearly three times.
That rate of response is higher than one of the highest populated islands off Brisbane.
Right to Information documents obtained by the Bulletin show Magnetic Island’s ambulance station at Nelly Bay responded to 5975 incidents in the five years ending June 30.
The latest Census data revealed there were 2235 people living on the island off Townsville, with an average age of 54.
By comparison, Russell Island, between Brisbane and North Stradbroke Island, with a population of 2836 and average age of 55, had 5133 ambulance responses to incidents.
Both islands’ ambulance stations are staffed by a single advanced care paramedic working on an eight- day- on, six- day- off roster, and also oncall during the night.
The last major incident the Magnetic Island station responded to was in June, when two men were killed and a woman was injured in a Mini Moke crash at Nelly Bay.
A doctor and nurse from a Queensland Health clinic were called in to also provide support after that incident.
Townsville Local Ambulance Service Network assistant commissioner Robbie Medlin said the two paramedics who rotated duties on Magnetic Island were well supported by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and had a good understanding of the needs of residents and visitors.
“Maggie Island is a rural location so you can quite often do nothing or sometimes you might have five or six jobs in a day,” he said.
“We think the station is adequately staffed at this point.”
Mr Medlin said for major events or holidays, QAS undertook risk assessment to determine if more paramedics would be required.
“If there is something like a Full Moon Party or school holidays there are more people that could experience illness or injury,” he said. “The key to success in regional and rural locations is always the network you build around you in the community and understanding their needs.”
Thuringowa MP and former paramedic Aaron Harper was previously stationed on Magnetic Island.
“It’s such a beautiful location and everyone also works very well if something serious does happen,” he said. “We all the know the systems in place and QAS can utilise the helicopter and ferries.”