Ambo volunteers praised

Sophia ConstantineNorth West Telegraph

Volunteers play an instrumental role in the effective delivery of Hedland’s ambulance services, contributing more than 13,000 volunteer hours and attending more than 3100 call-outs within the past year.

St John Ambulance WA has more than 3700 clinical volunteers across regional WA who work alongside paramedics to provide emergency medical care, 432 of who work in the North West.

Information released in the past two weeks revealed the State’s Country Ambulance Service received the same level of training as professional, career paramedics in some other countries.

St John Ambulance WA regional manager Andrew Graffen said the Hedland sub centre was lucky to have a number of dedicated volunteers and a committed paramedic group to ensure continuity of service.

“Volunteers at the Hedland sub centre are invaluable to the local community, dedicating their time to care for the health and wellbeing of the community in Hedland and the surrounding region, ensuring access to high-quality pre-hospital care,” he said.

St John Country Ambulance Service general manager Julian Smith said clinical training equal to that undertaken by emergency medical technicians in some overseas ambulance services allowed clinical volunteers to help save lives. “It’s incorrect to assume that just because someone is a volunteer they’re less able to handle emergency situations and provide the highest level of patient care,” he said.

“When we speak to overseas paramedics about our volunteer workforce, they’re often blown away by the kind of skills that can be acquired by regular members of the community.”

Mr Smith said despite country volunteers facing challenges different to that in metropolitan areas, regional crews consistently responded to emergency calls faster than their counterparts in capital cities outside of WA.

“Our regional crews are delivering a truly world-class ambulance service to all corners of WA and that is reflected in data we have coming through,” Mr Smith said.

St John Ambulance Hedland is seeking both clinical and non-clinical volunteers to join the team.

Those interested can apply online at stjohnambulance.com.au.

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