Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Branch Station Officers

Well, I'm due to be back at the branch station this afternoon but something has come up with my family and I'm off work on carers leave, so I won't be going back to the branch station this block. My family comes first, as I'm sure it does for everyone else. (a wise Japanese sensei once said "family, work, sport, in that order")


Here is little more information about being a BSO (Branch Station Officer).
I have a more detailed overview post about the Tasmanian Ambulance Service, which I'll add a little later.

Tasmania currently has 13 stations where the salaried officers (BSO's) are supported by volunteer ambulance officers (VAO's). These stations are usually about 40 to 60+ kms from the larger city centres and thus service the smaller communities (populations of about 2000 - 5000) and then there are volunteer only stations that service the much smaller areas.
See this link for an idea...
http://www.tasmanianambulancevolunteers.asn.au/location.htm



Working at a branch station can be very financially rewarding for those that enjoy it and volunteer to become permanent BSO's or to those that put their hands up to relieve.

The extra cash comes from:
* the slightly higher pay rate you receive at a branch station
for working solo / with volunteers / training the VAO's
* on-call allowance
* the overtime earnt, by being called out
* living away from home allowance (for relieving officers)
* traveling allowance (for relieving officers)

The last 2 don't apply to officers who have chosen to become permanent BSO's, only to those that relieve in those positions.


Taking into account the extra money, it's not for everyone but some love it:
* You are away from home / your family for 96 hours straight.
* You are alone at the station unless you get a job
(permanent officers can pop home during the day and get to sleep at home, if they live in town).
* Your pager could go off at any time, (when you are in the shower).
* You don't have another qualified officer/student to bounce ideas off.
* But you are it, you make all the decisions.
* Quality back up is at least 20 minutes away.
* The work load is usually very light.


Til then, be safe.

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