Special mention for life savers

AS the Queensland Ambulance Services gears up to celebrate Ambulance Week, local paramedics are proud to be acknowledged.

Toogoolawah Ambulance Station Officer in Charge, Shane Sypher said he is very happy with the way ambulance services in Queensland has improved.

“Patient care is through the roof,” he said.

“There are more resources now than we ever had before.”

With the closest hospital at least 20 minutes away, Mr Sypher said he is grateful for the constant improvements to the service.

“Every year the budget is increasing and so the amount of infrastructure and staff is increasing,” he said.

“We have new cars and new stations are being put up all over Queensland.”

He said the tertiary education for paramedics is excellent.

“There is a lot going on for advanced lifesaving procedures in terms of education,” he said.

He said one of the best things to happen for QAS was the levy.

“It has helped ambulance services, not just here, but all over the state, to grow along with the need for the service,” he said.

Mr Sypher said the ambulance service is an integral part of the community and that will always be important.

The Toogoolawah station has two paramedics on staff, 24 hours a day servicing a wide area.

“The station is here, but 99 per cent of the time the call out is to anywhere but here,” he said.

Mr Sypher said he loves working in a smaller community.

“People are more self reliant, and because we have further to travel we have a lot more time to build up a rapport with the people we are helping,” he said.

“There is a lot more time you can spend with your patients.”

Toogoolawah Ambulance Station Advanced Care Paramedics, Neil Hobbs and Michael Bishop agreed the changes in education, training and equipment for paramedics are positive.

Mr Bishop said he did his paramedic training through the Queensland Ambulance Service but there are other options available.

“It is actually coming through as a university degree now,” he said.

“It is a natural progression, I think, to have it as a three year long course.”

Mr Hobbs said one of the most noticeable improvements was basic equipment

“Things like stretchers have just improved so much,” he said.

“To put it in perspective, when I started we still had the wooden stretchers in the back of the vans.”

Mr Hobbs said the region a specialised piece of equipment for obese patients.

“The specialised transport retrieval unit or STRU is something we have in this area now and it is only relatively new,” he said.

“There are limits on our everyday stretchers, but this facility means those patients will have the same access to medical care.”

The Queensland Ambulance Service started celebrations for Ambulance Week on Monday.

QAS Commissioner David Melville said Ambulance Week is a unique occasion on the QAS calendar to raise awareness of ambulance services across Queensland.

“First responders are the reassuring faces in numerous rural, remote and isolated communities across Queensland who attend local accidents and medical emergencies to provide life saving first aid treatment until advanced medical care arrives,” he said.

Ambulance Week runs from September 6-12.

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