Ambulance arrival delays prompt CPR message

Local paramedics Jemma Dyson and Lauren O’Dwyer demonstrate hands only CPR to Paul Donoghoe (centre) of Loch Sport as part of the Ambulance Employee Association Victoria’s campaign to highlight delays in ambulance arrival times. Local paramedics Rhiannon Evans and Paul McMahon drum up public support for paramedics at the Sale Pedestrian Mall last Wednesday, with EBA negotiations between Ambulance Victoria and the union having stalled for some time.
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LOCAL paramedics volunteered their time to teach locals hand only CPR at the SaleMall on Wednesday, taking the opportunity to also highlight issues of ambulance delays in Gippsland.

According to the paramedics the aim was to provide people with the skills needed to give a patient the best chance of survival in the event of a cardiac arrest.

They said the skills were needed in an environment where waiting times for an emergency ambulance are continuing to fail to meet the state government’s own guidelines.

Earlier this month, three more patients died after waiting beyond the government’s own 15-minute benchmark for an ambulance.

Local paramedic Rhiannon Evans said Ambulance Employee Association Victoria branch members were volunteering their time to teach locals hand only CPR in case they needed to perform it while waiting for an ambulance.

“We are teaching hands only CPR, taking away the need to do the mouth-to-mouth component,” she said.

“There have been issues with (ambulance) delays and deaths in the Gippsland region and we’re trying to get people comfortable with CPR.

“Some people have never seen it before or have never been taught, so they are not comfortable doing it.

“We need to get people comfortable doing it.”

Ms Evans said if people needed to perform CPR, they should still phone 000 and follow operator instructions until an ambulance arrives.

“The operator will talk you through it,” she said.

“We have seen many cases where CPR has been performed and we have been able to resuscitate the patient (after arriving on the scene).”

AEAV union members also used the campaign to drum up public support as attempts to settle an EBA continue.

“Our last offer expired two years ago,” Ms Evans said.

“We have put a counter offer to Ambulance Victoria to settle the EBA issues holding us down and settle the EBA.

“It has been a hard slog.

“There has been a lot of mud thrown, which isn’t fun.”

Ambulance Employees Australia state secretary Steve McGhie said it was essential every Victorian knew how to do CPR.

“The tragedy is that Victorians can no longer count on an ambulance arriving in time when their loved ones suffer a cardiac arrest,” he said.

“This is enormously frustrating to our members because they are the best trained ambulance paramedics in the country.

“However those skills often go to waste when we are taking so long to reach the patients.

“Under Denis Napthine one in four patients will not get an ambulance on time, so it’s essential that every Victorian knows how to do CPR,” Mr McGhie said.

“We think it’s important that the public has a basic understanding of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation to at least offer some chance of the patient being viable when paramedics arrive.

“This is a way of paramedics giving something back to the community to say thank you for their fantastic support and hopefully save a life at the same time.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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