TOP EQUIPMENT: Local MP Glen Elmes prepares to present a new ambulance to Noosa Heads ambulance duty officer Ashleigh Westerman.
TOP EQUIPMENT: Local MP Glen Elmes prepares to present a new ambulance to Noosa Heads ambulance duty officer Ashleigh Westerman. John Mccutcheon

Tewantin ambo base expanded with new ambo resources

IN A matter of weeks Noosa is about to see a dramatic improvement in its Queensland Ambulance Service response capabilities with the opening of its expanded Tewantin base.

Sunshine Coast QAS Acting Assistant Commissioner Neil Reid said from April, a beefed-up service locally would accommodate six extra ambulance officers.

"Which is excellent. So there are additional resources there and we are expanding the building as well.

"WE'VE got to make it bigger to accommodate the extra people," Mr Reid said.

"It goes from just a day shift station to a day/ afternoon, so the crews will operate 'till midnight out of there."

Tewantin-based ambulance officer and United Voice Union representative Mark Denham believes the added numbers, which he described as an investment in millions of dollars, taking wages, building upgrades and new emergency equipment into account, will make a major difference to the service's lifesaving capabilities.

"The benefits for Tewantin Noosa are that we end up with a complete additional day shift and afternoon shift on the northern end of the area, which we never had before," Mr Denham said.

"So it's a complete improvement which gives better coverage basically for the ambulances.

"It reduces the workload as it spreads it out more and it also gives us capacity to get them fed and get them watered as well."

Mr Denham said this was important given that the "workload is increasing so much".

He said Tewantin was now run between Noosa, Cooroy and Coolum stations.

He said the use of extra officers on day shift would stop as from the start of April 7.

"That gives us extra capacity to put more officers into the area so we end up with greater numbers."

Mr Denham said it was the delivering of something he had been fighting for five years.

"When you look at the population of Noosa - that's where most of the population is," Mr Denham said.

And he said this was a key area of local population expansion.

Both Mr Reid and Mr Denham were on hand with the Member for Noosa, Glen Elmes, at Noosa station on Friday for the handover of a new Mercedes Benz Sprinter 319 ambulance worth more than $215,000 described as "an intensive care unit on wheels".

By the time it is fully fitted out the value will be around the $280,000 mark.

Member for Noosa Glen Elmes will be doing high "sixes" when half-a-dozen new ambulance officers start work in Tewantin next month.

 Mr Elmes said the Tewantin upgrade meant the local community was "better resourced than ever.

"These new positions will increase the number of shifts rostered at Tewantin to include a two-officer, 10-hour afternoon shift in addition to the existing two-officer day shift," he said.

 "The extra staff will allow the officer-in-charge to come off roster and focus on the day-to-day operations of the station.

 "These new officers will ensure we are able to deliver the best possible ambulance services to Tewantin and the surrounding region."

 The addition of four officers to Gympie meant Tewantin staff would no longer be stretched to cover the wider area. "These six additional officers will enhance the standards of care delivered to patients in our community," Mr Elmes said.

Noosa on Friday also took delivery of a newly fitted out ambulance.

 

Mr Elmes said 155 new and replacement ambulances would be delivered to the QAS by the end of this financial year.<EP> "It is vitally important that the Noosa Heads ambulance station has a well-maintained fleet appropriate to meet the needs of Noosa area," Mr Elmes said.<EP> "The vehicle is fitted with the latest technology<NO,2014/3/9/20/29/17,Elizabeth Allen>for the operation of both the vehicle and patient care features<NO>.<EP> "It takes a unique person to commit themselves to a profession entirely focused on helping others and this vehicle will support those personnel in providing the best possible pre-hospital