URGENT CALL... Port Broughton doctor Alison Edwards says volunteer ambulance numbers are at critically low levels. URGENT CALL... Port Broughton doctor Alison Edwards says volunteer ambulance numbers are at critically low levels.

Emergency call out for ambos

AMBULANCE crews are in critical need of volunteers, lacking enough people to fill rosters, according to local doctors.

Port Broughton doctor Alison Edwards said volunteers are at critically low levels and average response times would be embarrassing.

“I think they have tried to keep it on the down-low because they don’t want to alarm people,” she said.

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    Tim Leeuwenburg Tuesday, 31 October 2017 20:00

    Same here in other rural SA sites

    Tricky to recruit and retain volunteers - these people deliver a professionals service, often dealing with cases which are higher acuity than paramedics in the city

    Thankfully there is a move to streamline the training, but we still need to look carefully at service delivery in rural

    Many of the graduate paramedics are not keen on relocating to the country - even if only for 1-2 years

    Even the proposed 'Extended care paramedic' program has struggled, with many working as FIFO ratter than living and working in the community

    Perhaps it's time to salary some of the volunteers to acknowledge the work they do - or offer them a streamlined program to achieve paramedic status, given the latter is now a protected title under AHPRA and the volunteers are specifically excluded from training/perks/organisational support despite delivering a service to high standard

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