News

Paramedic hits out at pressures

Growing pressure on fewer front-line staff was being ignored as management jobs appeared to multiply, the letter said.
Growing pressure on fewer front-line staff was being ignored as management jobs appeared to multiply, the letter said. Jason Dougherty

A DISGRUNTLED paramedic has attacked the Queensland Ambulance Service, warning of neglected hinterland towns and overbearing management.

In an unsigned letter to the Daily, the writer said he had more than a decade of experience as a paramedic.

The letter was a result of "built-up desperation" for change.

Growing pressure on fewer front-line staff was being ignored as management jobs appeared to multiply, the letter said.

These were often filled by staff trying to escape the grind of night shifts and poor working conditions.

The views were rejected by the Department of Community Safety, which represents the QAS.

The union for ambulance workers - United Voice - conceded there were problems but its representatives did not know specifics.

The writer said morale was deteriorating as paramedics worked without proper meal breaks on a 12-hour shift.

"(Management) believes it is okay to allocate a half-hour meal break at 3am in Beerwah to a crew from the northern end of the Coast," the letter said.

"They believe this is okay even though the crew is an hour's drive from their station where their home-made meals are in the fridge."

The QAS is accused of covering up station closures to save on paying overtime.

"Often when someone calls in sick, (QAS) don't call in a staff member who has made themselves available for overtime," the letter said.

"This is a dangerous and unethical way of reducing their overtime budget.

"For example, in May 2011, for two nights in a row the Beerwah station was closed both Friday and Saturday nights.

"This is a dangerous practice that left the entire hinterland uncovered and at risk."

United Voice area ambulance coordinator Jeanette Temperley agreed there were staff shortages but could not comment on apparent station closures.

She said staff shortages could contribute to front-line staff moving into office roles.

"There are people who move into those management roles for different reasons," Ms Temperley said.

"It is possible some of them may not want the pressure on the road."

A Department of Community Safety spokeswoman said being forced to close a station due to "unfilled shifts" was rare and only occurred if there were no other options.

The norm, she said, was that more than 99% of shifts were filled.

The spokeswoman said the Coast was not losing staff because it was a sought-after destination.

"In the past 12 months, no paramedic has left their on-road position to move into a clerical role in the Sunshine Coast area," she said.

"The area has 206 full-time paramedics - including officers-in-charge - and one area director position."

There were another five "regional operation supervisors".

"This is a dangerous practice that left the hinterland at risk."

Topics:  ambulance emergency health hospital paramedic


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Green group calls for cap on Noosa daytrippers

CAP PLAN: Holiday crowds flock to Noosa Main Beach - day tripping may face a limit.

Residents interests 'pushed to one side' during peak season

Everyone's loving new Eumundi lager

Chuck was thrilled to bring one of the first kegs to the Imperial Hotel to try.

Deputy PM and locals try new Eumundi brew at private tasting

Noosa a top place to get work

Signs of better things

Local Partners

No bull, Dan's son a hero in shark attack

NOOSA paramedic Dan Moore's 15-year-old son Max paddled through bloodied water on Bali's west coast to push his father to shore.

Golfers will have two chances at $10,000 hole in one

Brothers Rugby Sunshine Coast committee member Brendan Wright (left) and president John Craven.

Fancy $10,000 for a hole in one at an upcoming amateur golf day?

Flickerfest 2017's short-film highlights to visit Noosa

Flickerfest 2017 will tour its short-film highlights.

Flickerfest is a celebration of innovative short filmmaking

10 off-beat things to do before school holidays end

AQUATIC PLAYGROUND: Swan Boat Hire helps residents and visitors get out on to the Maroochy River in all manner of water craft.

Finish the school holidays with an epic adventure

Kid nails Swift impersonation

Seven-year-old Xia Vigor nails Taylor Swift impersonation on the Philippine talent show Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids.

TAYLOR Swift has a seven-year-old doppelganger.

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of Ballina show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Flickerfest 2017's short-film highlights to visit Noosa

Flickerfest 2017 will tour its short-film highlights.

Flickerfest is a celebration of innovative short filmmaking

Ariana Grande 'hardest working 23-year-old on Earth'?

Ariana Grande

Not everyone was impressed with Grande’s self-proclaimed work ethic

Why The Walking Dead cast are paid a pittance

Despite massive ratings the cast haven't been shown the money

50 Shades Dornan on why he hates the film

Dornan and Johnson’s frequent sex scenes were ‘awkward’ to film. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

Jamie Dornan doesn’t blame you for hating 50 Shades

Coolum land is hot property

Blank canvas ready to build on

Your heart's desire

Peregian Springs home filled with quality upgrades, inclusions

Fall in love with Noosa hinterland gem

Circa 1900 Queenslander on 8.94ha suitable for horses, cattle

Sunday auction for historical home

Former Catholic school sure to attract spirited bidding

Looking back, looking ahead in Noosa

NEVER-ENDING GLORY: Looking towards Laguna Bay and Hastings St from Noosa National Park.

Natural appeal of Noosa continues to attract buyers

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!