TAKING ACTION: Queensland Ambulance Service senior operations supervisor Glen Barron says it's important to educate young people about the dangers of swimming.
TAKING ACTION: Queensland Ambulance Service senior operations supervisor Glen Barron says it's important to educate young people about the dangers of swimming. Kevin Farmer

Paramedic describes toll of drownings on first responders

A SENIOR paramedic yesterday described the emotional toll it took on first responders called to tragic drownings or terrifying near-drownings.

Queensland Ambulance Service senior operations supervisor in Toowoomba Glen Barron stressed the importance of educating young people about the various dangers involved with swimming.

"We are an outdoor state with so much water around, not just beaches but pools, dams and creeks, often with murky water with lot of branches underneath where people can get snagged on. The dangers are varied and not always easy to spot.

"Pool safety is obviously a major concern for us as well. Simple things like making sure pool fences are always shut and kept in good order; not leaving items floating in the pool as young kids might be inclined to reach in and grab it and if you are a parent it's always a good idea to get your first aid certificate or at least know how to perform CPR."

Seventy-three people died from drowning in Queensland last year. Thirteen of those were children.

"It's always particularly tragic when someone with their whole life ahead of them passes away," Mr Barron said.

"It's obviously so difficult for the parents and friends. It also takes a big emotional toll on us.

"At the end of the day, the most important things to prevent drownings is education and supervision."


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