TEAM: Gatton Ambulance Station's newest paramedics Brooke Milford, Tim Smolders (with baby Sasha) and Marcus Clemenkowff.
TEAM: Gatton Ambulance Station's newest paramedics Brooke Milford, Tim Smolders (with baby Sasha) and Marcus Clemenkowff. Lachlan McIvor

No better feeling than saving a life

FOR Gatton's three newest paramedics, there is no better feeling than being able to use their training and experience to save a life.

Marcus Clemenkowff, Tim Smolders and Brooke Milford all began working at the Gatton Ambulance Station this year and have settled into life alongside the rest of their team at the 24-hour facility.

Although each day is a lottery and it's hard to predict what is around each adrenaline-inducing corner, Mr Smolders loves his job.

"When you get to use the training that you put in all this hard work for and attend a job where you help save someone, there's nothing better than that,” Mr Smolders said.

After 10 years working in Brisbane, he moved into the area five months ago for a tree change alongside wife Mandy and they recently welcomed baby Sasha into the world.

"In Brisbane you feel more like just a bum on a seat,” he said.

"(In) Gatton you feel you have more of a personal connection with the town and the staff here as well.

"We do have elderly people that we go to that have deteriorating health but we get to know them personally, where normally you wouldn't get that in a city environment.

"It's good getting to know someone a bit more than just for 20 minutes in the back of ambulance because you might go to them once a month.

"You can get a bit more involved with them.”

The station's acting officer-in-charge Yvette Atkins teaches CPR.
The station's acting officer-in-charge Yvette Atkins teaches CPR. Lachlan McIvor

An Ipswich boy of 30-odd years, Mr Clemenkowff cherished the "family feel” of the station since January.

"I guess my favourite part (of the job) is those memorable cases to remind you why you busted your butt to become a paramedic,” he said.

"You put up with a lot of stuff in the job too but you do it because a person's most valuable thing is themselves.”

Ms Milford only started four weeks ago after moving from Sydney and wasted no time getting into the thick of it, already helping to birth a baby in the back of an ambulance.

They got the chance to meet the community and pass on some practical skills as the station held an open day on September 14 as a part of Ambulance Week.

Acting officer-in-charge Yvette Atkins wanted the day to take some of the "fear factor” away from the flashing red and blue lights.

"I think for the children, the most important part is that they learn that it's not intimidating and every time an ambulance comes, it doesn't necessarily mean that something bad is going to happen or that something bad has happened,” she said.

"They feel that they can trust us and when we come it's not such a daunting prospect for them if their mum has to go away or if they have to be in the ambulance by themselves.”

The Gatton station is on call 24 hours a day and currently have a staff load of 17 working on-road paramedics.


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