Friday, November 12, 2010

Outcry Over Ambulance Staff Shortages

This is the video from a new story on the ABC News tonight and the text from the same story on the website.

The Video

The link to The Text

Outcry Over Ambulance Staff Shortages:

Tasmania's Ambulance Service is under fire, accused of failing to provide enough staff to meet demand across the state.

Staff shortages caused the Bridgewater station in the state's south to close its doors last weekend.

The station was left unattended and on-call paramedics had to take vehicles home in case of an emergency call out.

The Health and Community Services Union claims similar incidents are frequent and have been for years because of staff shortages.

The Brighton mayor, Tony Foster, says the Bridgewater station needs two full-time paramedics.

"That's what we need to be able to, I guess, look after the community needs from here to Oatlands and we all know about the Midland Highway," he said.

"So we need to be able to go to an accident that may happen on the Midland Highway from Bridgewater, not from Glenorchy, and not from anywhere else."

The Ambulance Service is assessing staffing levels and infrastructure.

CEO Dominic Morgan says it plans to seek Government funding for additional resources over the next few years.

"Ambulance Tasmania has a significant number of strategies in place to take us in to the future," he said.

"We've just started five qualified staff, they'll be hitting the roads within the next two weeks.

"We've got another three coming on board between now and January and we have 17 officers who will graduate by December," he said.

As much as I'd like to make a personal comment about our staffing, I won't....

Til then, Be safe

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Amblance Tasmania Is Hiring Graduates

Well it's that time of year, again.

Ambulance Tasmania is advertising for Paramedic Intern's (Multiple State-wide Vacancies). The positions commence in February 2011 in the 18 month Graduate Program.
Applications close Friday, 24 September 2010

They were advertised:

in Wednesdays edition of the Tasmanian Governemnet Gazette 08-Sep-2010. Which links directly to this page, Paramedic Interns

Posted on the ACAP site on Thursday

And I saw it in todays local paper, so it would be in all 3 Tasmanaian newspapers and I'd suggest many interstate newspapers.

Til then, be safe.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Claim Ambos Work On Leave

This is the text from an article in The Mercury Newspaper

by: DAMIEN BROWN | September 07, 2010 - 08.30am

Claims have surfaced of ambulance officers being paid overtime to work during their annual leave to cover staff shortages, to the anger of the Liberal Party.

More paramedics and volunteer ambulance officers yesterday contacted the Mercury following a series of reports of disgruntled workers fed up with understaffing, not being properly equipped and having to cope with a massive 50 per cent increase in demand over the past five years.

And there have been reports of patients dying because ambulances have not been able to get to them in time -- and some staff being owed as much as a year's worth of annual leave.

Documents obtained by the Mercury this week show that ambulance officers, along with doctors and nurses, are in such short supply they cannot take their accumulated holidays.

A volunteer officer said yesterday that some staff were being paid overtime rates to work during their holidays to cover for staff shortages.

He also cited volunteer workers having to work up to 20 hours and not having their uniforms replaced.

"We are doing the same work as the career officers but feel like we are just treated like second-class citizens," said the volunteer, who did not want to be identified.

"The day you go to work and bring someone back to life or deliver a bub, it makes it all worth it, but we can't continue to be ignored by management for much longer or we're going to crack."

Ambulance Tasmania chief executive officer Dominic Morgan and Health Minister Michelle O'Byrne have urged ambulance officers and the Tasmanian community to be patient.

Mr Morgan has admitted things are not perfect but is confident that when a raft of initiatives is introduced they will make a difference.

But Liberal health spokesman Jeremy Rockliff said yesterday the program to help fix the sick ambulance service needed to be sped up.

"The State Government has supposedly re-injected millions into the Budget to secure front-line health services but you can't get any more front-line than ambulance services, so when staffing is stretched so tight why isn't the Government actively recruiting more ambulance officers to fill the gaps?" he said.

Til then, be safe.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Another Blogger Forced To Wind Up Their Blog


Mark over at has pulled up stumps. It was not a decision he took lightly and was forced into this decision by people causing problems for him.

In his 2nd last post he stated:

"I know I have people in my own service who actively look for things to get me into trouble.
I now know I have people in my own service who have tried to cause trouble for me and this blog".

In the last 18 months, his blog grew into one of the best EMS related blogs on the internet and one of my favourites.

He had written and published 483 posts. Received over 3000 comments and the site had 250,000+ hits. He further created ‘The Handover’ EMS Blog carnival which is still going strong as the only EMS related carnival.

So Mark, farewell mate.
You will be sorely missed.

Til then, be safe.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Had To Share This Classic

I heard this the other day from an interstate friend who is a nurse and I laughed so hard I had to share it. This is true. I have not made this up.

Several months ago, my friend was working on the triage desk at the Accident & Emergency department of the local hospital when a young mother came to the counter with her daughter in a pram. The mother was concerned about the health of her young daughter.

Presenting history, past history, medications and allergies were obtained and then came the time to get the child's name.

Nurse " what is you daughter first name"

Mother "Abseedee"

Nurse "Sorry I didn't quite get that"

Mother "Abseedee"

Nurse - with a look of confusion "Oh, how do you spell that"

Mother - with a look of disbelief/disdain "A B C D E"

Nurse - withholding a look of 'you have to be kidding' "Right"

Til then, be safe.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Back On The Road Next Week

Well, 7 months on the fixed wing has come to an end.

I've consolidated my new found skills and knowledge, so I'm back on road next block so the other flight paramedics get a stint on the plane. The roster is only ever 4 weeks in advance but I'd take a guess and say I'll be on the road for several months before getting back on the plane as the plan is to continually rotate the ICFP's around.

With Tassie being such a small state, I felt I just couldn't post about jobs without someone recognising themselves or someone they knew.

Til then, be safe.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ambulance Tasmania's Newest Recruits

Well, it's February 2010 and Ambulance Tasmania has just recently hired its LAST batch of student paramedics (they were advertised in June 2009). See this post for the difference between a "student paramedic" and a "graduate paramedic".

From next year they will only be hiring qualified officers or graduate students (those who have already completed a degree). No more being hired without any qualifications and being trained on the job (whilst being paid) over 3 years. This will make becoming a paramedic in Tasmania as a mature aged person very difficult.

Anyway, seventeen (17) new students commenced in the middle of February and are completing an induction period in Hobart which includes basic BLS skills and their initial driver training amongst other things, then the 5 coming to my station start here on the 15th of March with a weeks induction to the region and then they will spend a week riding on the ambulances as thirds. Then it's out on the road with a mentor.

Til then, be safe.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Everyone at work received an e-mail yesterday letting us know of few recent changes to the structure of the DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services) and new names for three major sections of the Agency.

Of interest to me was:

The Tasmanian Ambulance and Health Transport Service is now known as Ambulance Tasmania.

Very few people knew that the TAS - Tasmanian Ambulance Service was renamed about 18 months ago to the TAHTS - Tasmanian Ambulance and Health Transport Service.

So now it's Ambulance Tasmania.

Here is the organisational chart, if anyone is actually interested.

Til then, be safe.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

High Flying Election Promise - (C) ABC News

Tasmanian Premier, David Bartlett today announced $36 million for a helicopter for the Tasmanian Ambulance Service.

If re-elected the ALP has promised to spend $36 million over four years on a helicopter for the ambulance service. It will be staffed around the clock and based in Hobart.

The helicopter service is expected to be up and running within 18 months. Once operational it will need about 17 staff, paramedics and crew to operate it.

The Premier, David Bartlett made the announcement this morning with his deputy, Lara Giddings by his side. Ms Giddings insisted the new service will not make the current rescue helicopters redundant.

"The minute an emergency is called in, that helicopter can warm up and take off, right now, what happens is the helicopter is ready to go but we have to wait for a paramedic crew to turn up on site."

They also promised the Royal Flying Doctors Service (contracted to the Tasmanain Air Ambulance) based in Launceston will remain there.

Til then, be safe.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

An Update

I haven't posted for a while, have been a little busy and had other priorities.

I have been working on our Air Ambulance since late August (the last 5 months). Tassie has a Beechcraft Super King Air 200.

I spent basically the month of November in Melbourne with 2 other Tassie ICP's (flew home on weekends) and sat thought 4 weeks of classroom and other stuff for Monash University's Graduate Certificate in Emergency Health (Aeromedical Retrieval).

Since then I've had an Exam and have completed 7 of the 10 assignments and am completing a clinical logbook. It should all be finished in March.

We did a day long HUET (helicopter underwater escape training) course during our time in Melbourne as part of the Grad Cert, here is a video:

Til then, be safe.