Paramedic Raoul ‘Slim’ Payne speaks to a patient.
Paramedic Raoul ‘Slim’ Payne speaks to a patient. Lea Emery

High Pressure: Coast paramedics enjoy the variety

VARIETY may be the spice of life, but Fraser Coast paramedics really take it to the next level; every call they get literally could be a matter of life or death.

On a quiet, slightly damp Saturday afternoon, it did not take long for paramedics to be called into action with the first call of the shift.

Overdose, an address and we were off.

Hervey Bay Ambulance Station officer-in-charge Nigel Jones explained on the way it was often difficult to determine exactly what paramedics might be meeting when they answered each call.

He said a combination of distressed callers and the way the communications centre classified calls as they came in, often meant details were not clear.

Paramedics on scene were quick to determine what had been taken, how much and why the drug had been taken.

Then it was off to the hospital.

It soon became clear it was the hospital part of job which was often dreaded by the ambulance officers.

Throughout the shift, paramedics again and again explained taking a patient to hospital could be a quick hand over or it could be waiting for an undetermined amount of time - a reality they all found frustrating, especially with long waiting times.

Throughout the eight-hour shift, ambulance officers were constantly moving.

Paramedics put a patient into their van before taking her to hospital.
Paramedics put a patient into their van before taking her to hospital.

An elderly woman with chest pain, a man with severe gastro and abdominal pain, a man who had called the house doctor who told him he needed hospital supervision and constant patient transfers between Maryborough and Hervey Bay hospitals.

Meals were snatched in the rare time back at the station and were also an opportunity for paramedics to compare notes of jobs throughout the day.

All throughout the shift, paramedics all seemed to have the same answer when asked about what they enjoyed about the job - the variety.



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