NW volunteer ambos praised

Robert DoughertyBroome Advertiser

Regional ambulance volunteers have been recognised for their level of professionalism and training, matching paid career paramedics in other countries.

St John Country Ambulance Service volunteers including 79 staff around Broome and 432 across WA’s North West were shown to have the same levels of expertise as paid officers in North America and Europe in a new SJCAS report released last week.

SJCAS general manager Julian Smith said the 3700 clinical volunteers across WA saved lives and were the lifeblood of the State as they worked alongside paramedics to provide emergency medical care.

“It’s incorrect to assume that just because someone is a volunteer they’re less able to handle emergency situations and provide the highest level of patient care,” he said.

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“Every day our clinical volunteers help save lives. They’re able to do this because they’re equipped with sophisticated clinical training equal to that undertaken by emergency medical technicians in some overseas ambulance services.

“When we speak to overseas paramedics about our volunteer workforce, they’re often blown away by the kind of skills that can be acquired by regular members of the community.”

“This is a key reason why WA’s Country Ambulance Service is among the most effective and efficient emergency services in the world.”

Regional crews with volunteers also achieved statistics comparable to Perth crews, with a survival rate of 8 per cent for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest matched to 10 per cent in the city.

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