Minister Hands Keys Over For New Smithfield Ambulance Station

Minister Hands Keys Over For New Smithfield Ambulance Station

Queensland Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick

New Smithfield Ambulance Ready To Respond To Any Emergency

Victor P Taffa

Health and Ambulance Services Minister Cameron Dick today handed over the keys of a new $235,000 ambulance to Smithfield Ambulance Station to maintain quick responses to help locals in need.

“Palaszczuk Government is committed to providing our frontline health workers with the equipment and technology they need to provide first-rate healthcare to the community.” Mr. Dick said.

“Replacement vehicle is designed to make ambulance treatment and transport safe and comfortable for both patients and paramedics, no matter the type of emergency they’re responding to.”

 

“The vehicle has undergone extensive conversion in consultation with paramedics and is a highly effective platform to provide emergency pre-hospital care to the sick and injured.” Mr. Dick said.

Paramedics at the station, which covers Smithfield and the surrounding area from Machans Beach, north to Ellis Beach and inland to Kuranda, were revved up about the addition to the state-of-the-art Mercedes Sprinter to their fleet.

“One of the key features is the power-assisted stretcher, which has been proven to reduce the rate of manual-handling injuries that paramedics suffer during their shifts.” Mr. Dick said.

“In addition to the Stryker power-assisted stretcher which can carry patients up to 318 kg, the vehicle is equipped with a Stryker stair chair to safely support patients weighing up to 228 kg.”

“Our paramedics do a fantastic job looking after people during their times of need and I’m pleased to hand over the keys to a new replacement ambulance which will enable them to keep up the great work.”

Vehicles are specially imported and contain significant safety features not commonly available in standard vans within Australia.

Member for Barron River Craig Crawford, a former ambulance officer, said paramedics spent the majority of their working day in ambulances.

“On a 12 hour shift in a busy station, you could be in one of these ambulances for up to 10 hours of that shift sitting in the seats, working in the back that is your working environment that is your office.” Mr. Crawford said.

“We need to do, as a government, everything we can to ensure that the ambulance officers’ working office is state of the art, operating in perfect condition and gives them everything they need to do the wonderful job that they do.”

Station’s Officer-in-Charge, Leon Oliveri, said paramedics at the station would benefit from the new replacement vehicle.

“Arrival of the power assisted stretcher is something our crews have been looking forward to.” Mr. Oliveri said.

“Being able to raise and lower patients at the touch of a button will protect our paramedics from potential lifting and carrying injuries.”

All stations in the Cairns and Hinterland Local Ambulance Service Network will have one or more ambulances equipped with power assisted stretchers by the end of this financial year.

“Our Government recognises that everyday heroes such as these officers require support to continue to deliver a high quality of care for the community. That is why we are funding a redevelopment of the Cairns Ambulance Station and Operations Centre and why our Government increased the QAS operating expense budget by 6.9 % to $719.6 Million in the 2017-18 State Budget.” Mr. Dick said.

“Funding boost will allow the QAS to recruit 75 more ambulance officers statewide.”

Mr. Dick said since coming to government, the number of ambulance officers in the Cairns and Hinterland increased by more than 16 FTES. This is on top of the 107 doctors and 367 nurses and midwives added to Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service since our Government were elected.

“QAS capital budget will fund the commissioning of 150 new and replacement ambulance vehicles. These vehicles will be rolled out with new power assisted stretchers, which will reduce the strain on paramedics’ bodies and help decrease the risk of manual handling injuries.” Mr. Dick said.

(QAS) Queensland Ambulance Service