New regional ambulance assistant commissioner Chris Broomfield says local services are running well.
New regional ambulance assistant commissioner Chris Broomfield says local services are running well. JOHN MCCUTCHEON

Keeping service healthy, happy

THE FRASER Coast’s ambulance service is healthy and our paramedics happy, according to Chris Broomfield.

And the next step is to keep it that way.

That’s where he comes in.

During a lightning visit to the Fraser Coast, the newly appointed Assistant Commissioner for the North Coast met with local paramedics to find out what makes them tick.

“I’ve been up to Bundaberg, Maryborough and Hervey Bay and I spoke to the Fraser Island officers as well,” Mr Broomfield said. “I just introduced myself and of course listened to any concerns about their work.

“Our role is to ensure we provide the best ambulance service delivery to the community and to provide the paramedics with the vehicles and equipment they need to do that.”

Mr Broomfield, who started on January 4 following a similar role in central Queensland, said his strategic position involved planning for the future.

And while the 49-year-old is based in Caloundra, the north coast region covers Bundaberg to the Sunshine Coast and the North and South Burnett.

Mr Broomfield, who has been with the ambulance service for 28 years, has not ruled out the possibility of increasing services for these areas, depending on demand.

In fact, he says, there will soon be a permanent year-round Fraser Island ambulance service, instead of just during peak tourist times.

“Whoever takes that position obviously will have to have heavy community consultation with their job.”

He describes the other Fraser Coast stations as popular and the paramedics happy.

“Hervey Bay, Maryborough and Bundaberg are places that people desire to work in. Their work is consistent with what we do across the state.”

With the ageing population, he says, the Coast’s paramedics mainly deal with illnesses rather than trauma, including respiratory and heart conditions.

“At times, the demand for our service can happen all at once which can stretch us.

“We try to educate the public in ensuring that they are only requesting an ambulance for emergency situations.”

Currently all Queensland ambulance staff are undergoing self defence training.

Mr Broomfield said it was a sad reflection on society.

“In general in our society at the moment, respect for police, ambulance and firefighters is not what it was ... that is a bit frightening.

“We just think it is a despicable act to attack our paramedics, especially when they are there to help you, to save your life.” That aside, Mr Broomfield says he’s looking forward to the challenge of his new role.

“What we want to ensure is that we can deliver an ambulance to a patient as quickly as we can and to provide the best service, health-wise that we can.”



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