Find­ing bal­ance with new am­bu­lance at Falls Creek

Mt Hotham Falls Creek - - FRONT PAGE - By GREG O’CON­NOR

FALLS Creek paramedics are now armed with the lat­est tech­nol­ogy to cope with ac­ci­dents and treat in­juries at the re­sort.

The re­gion has just been de­liv­ered a state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz Sprinter am­bu­lance to add to its emer­gency med­i­cal ser­vice equip­ment.

Falls Creek Am­bu­lance Ser­vice team man­ager David Llewellyn said the new am­bu­lance was part of a gen­eral up­grade at the sta­tion.

“The ve­hi­cle is re­plac­ing a smaller Volk­swa­gen Trans­porter that has been in use at the sta­tion here for a num­ber of years,” Mr Llewellyn said.

“It’s pretty much the stan­dard am­bu­lance you’d find across the state, but like Hotham and Buller, it has four­wheel-drive ca­pac­ity.

“It also has a larger plat­form to work from be­cause our pa­tients get taken through to Al­bury and it’s a long trip, we need the ex­tra room.”

Mr Llewellyn said the Falls Creek team used air­craft for se­ri­ous in­juries around 15 to 20 times per sea­son.

“The more se­ri­ous in­juries re­quire us to fly the pa­tient out for med­i­cal treat­ment, but they can’t al­ways land at the re­sort so we’ll meet them at Mt Beauty.”

He said Falls Creek paramedics com­monly treated two types of in­jury on the moun­tain.

“The two main in­juries we treat are head in­juries and sus­pected spinal in­juries,” he said.

“I’m not talk­ing spinal cord in­juries but more likely to be frac­tured ver­te­brae.”

Mr Llewellyn said in­juries were most com­mon among “the more ad­ven­tur­ous youth”.

“There’s a big push at the mo­ment to re­mind people to use hel­mets,” he said.

“We can’t stress enough how im­por­tant it is for people to pro­tect their head when they’re out on the snow.”

Mr Llewellyn said the big­gest mis­take snow-go­ers made was a sim­ple one to avoid.

“The big­gest thing we like to make people aware of is get­ting an am­bu­lance sub­scrip­tion,” he said.

“It’s one of the things people for­get – they don’t think about get­ting in­jured, but a lot of people do.

“Us­ing an am­bu­lance can be a costly ex­er­cise – thou­sands of dol­lars for one trip – but a mem­ber­ship is af­ford­able and easy to or­gan­ise,” he said.

It can be or­gan­ised via our web­site.”

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