Toowoomba volunteer honoured for ‘life saving’ work
UNTIL as recently as the 1990s, the bulk of ambulance service funding came from community committees scattered across the state.
Volunteers sold raffle tickets, held bake sales and auctioned donations to pay for the paramedics and their lifesaving equipment.
Enid Machin was one such volunteer who dedicated 50 years to the Ipswich Ambulance Committee, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars.
WHAT SHE DID WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN LAYING THE FOUNDATION FOR THE MODERN AMBULANCE SERVICE DREW HEBBRON
On Friday the Toowoomba resident was honoured for her service with a ceremony at the Queensland Ambulance Service’s Drayton Station.
The 84-year-old said it was an honour to lend a hand.
“I enjoyed all that I did,” she said
“I didn’t think of it as a job because I know that what we raised was going to a good cause.”
While thousands of women across Queensland joined their local ambulance committees, few stuck with it for as long as Mrs Machin.
She said she met some incredibly dedicated women over the years and kept an eye on anyone who stayed back to clean up after a morning tea or a fundraising event.
“You soon made a real definition about who was worthwhile to have on the committee and who was not,” Mrs Machin said.
The ceremony marking her 50 years of service was attended by the region’s highest ranking paramedics – West Moreton District Director Superintendent Drew Hebbron.
He said the community owed a debt of gratitude to women like Mrs Machin.
“What she did was instrumental in laying the foundation for the modern ambulance service,” he said.
“The local ambulance committees paid for everything, from staff wages, to facilities and training equipment before the State Government took over and started paying for things.”