10 May 2023

Call us first: Paramedic speaks out

| Matt Nicholls
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PARAMEDICS and hospital staff in the Cape are reminding locals to call Triple Zero in an emergency and refrain from self-transporting patients.

Tim West, who is the QAS officer in charge at Weipa, said there were too many instances of emergency presentations at hospitals or health clinics without an ambulance being called.

This year, there have been a number of incidents involving quad bikes where patients have been driven in private vehicles to hospital.

“Moving a patient into a private vehicle is not suitable, especially when they have suspected spinal injuries,” Mr West said.

“You can cause further injury or make their condition worse, creating a more complex situation when you arrive at hospital.

“By calling Triple Zero, you’re not only activating an ambulance, but we begin communicating with hospitals and aeromedical evacuation in the background.”

Mr West said measures could be taken to improve safety when riding in the bush.

“We understand that quad bike riding is a part of the way of life in Weipa and the Cape,” he said.

“And we know that most people who ride quad bikes take all necessary measures to ensure they can enjoy their time adventuring, whilst keeping themselves and their friends and family safe.

“However, we want to remind people that quad bikes can be incredibly dangerous. Over the years, emergency services in Weipa have treated countless people from serious quad bike accidents.

“There are steps that can be taken to minimise the risk of ending up in our emergency department in a critical condition; these include: never drink and drive, wear a helmet, and invest in a satellite phone.”

Mr West said by downloading the Emergency+ phone app, those phoning Triple Zero could relay their location using GPS.

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