The campaign to get an ambulance station for Iluka staffed by fully qualified paramedics has been “resoundingly echoed loud and clear post the Iluka Ambulance Action Group (IAAG) recent survey” according to survey organisers John and Ann McLean.
“The survey by the Iluka Ambulance Action Group (IAAG) has sent a clear message to the local politicians. That message that Iluka deserves the same standard of emergency medical care as other areas of the state”. Said Ann McLean.
Mrs McLean said the survey comes after local member for Clarence, Chris Gulaptis and NSW Health Minister Brad Hazard signalled their intention to provide no paramedics for a new Iluka ambulance station. “Instead they have proposed a volunteer only model that has been overwhelmingly rejected by the Iluka community”.
John and Ann McLean are members of the Iluka Action Group and tested the member’s ideas by the way of surveying over 100 signatories of the recent ambulance station petition.
“The result of the survey was astounding but not a surprise to the Action Group”. Said John McLean.
“Ann and I hit the pavement last weekend to survey the community’s reaction to the minister’s proposed volunteer only ambulance service for Iluka and it was no surprise to us that the members of the community we surveyed, wanted the proposed Iluka ambulance station to be staffed by qualified professional paramedics and not community volunteers.
The three questions asked in the survey were:
1. Did you sign the petition for an ambulance station in Iluka?
2. Did you sign the petition for an ambulance station staffed by professional paramedics?
3. Did you sign the petition for a Volunteer Community First Responder?
The McLean’s claim the community response has been a mix of shock and anger at the Member for Clarence “as they indicated that they signed the petition solely to secure an ambulance station in Iluka and not a community first responder”.
“Some of those who responded to the survey have expressed disgust at what they believe is an attempt by the Health Minister to hijack the community petition for a new ambulance station”. Said Mr McLean.
Ann McLean added that she believes Chris Gulaptis has been trying to look at all the options to support the community, but it is resoundingly clear from our survey that this will not be acceptable to the 11,500 signatures to the petition.
“Paramedics have the ability to administer lifesaving medications and undertake urgent medical procedures right in the ambulance. It takes years of education and constant training to deliver these safely and efficiently. As a comparison, Volunteer Ambulance Responders have between 4 to 6 different medications available to them to assist casualties. An Intensive Care Paramedic can administer in excess of 35 medications as required”, said Mrs McLean.
Ann McLean said the Iluka Action Group has felt so supported by the community in their overwhelming support and determination.
“The bringing together of the community on this much needed essential lifesaving service will not waiver until the opening of an ambulance station in Iluka”.
John and Ann McLean stress the group is entirely non political.