THEY’RE out there, our most respected professional workers, the paramedics and rescue crews of the NSW Ambulance Service.
Nothing stops them, they appear on the scene – their duty to save lives – whether through the front door of a residence or squeezing the hand of the injured, they give reassurance and administer drugs to the helpless in life-threatening situations.
These are the blue cladded heroes of modern society. These are the ones, in many cases who witness death and the extreme.
Well, the government doesn’t think so. The government has ramped up the work rate to 12-hour shifts. The crews are flat out. When the calls are coming and the sirens are wailing, there are times, because of work commitments, crews go without “crib breaks”. It is hard to imagine, with such a stressful job, working 12 hours without a break. The physical and mental strain must be unbearable.
Then there is the assessment of non-urgent patients. Currently, if a patient is assessed as non-urgent, under revised rules, an ambulance driver (one person) is dispatched to attend to the call. Since then, there
has been a further revision: “Ambulances will no longer transport non-urgent patients, and some trips will be outsourced to private providers. More paramedics using cars will be introduced” (The Sydney Morning Herald, December 19).
Can you believe this?
Now here is the knockout punch: the Shoalhaven district until recently had two administrators to oversee ambulance operations, now there are six.
Do you get the feeling that the balance is a bit lopsided between the workers and bureaucracy?