26 September 2023

Ambulances line up to see ‘000’ go down

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In an Australian first, paramedics across the country and the Council of Ambulance Authorities (CAA) have joined forces to launch a nationwide campaign urging people to save Triple Zero (000) for emergencies.

Director of CAA, Dr Dominic Morgan said the high number of non-emergency call-outs attended by Queensland paramedics indicated that many of the incidents could have been managed by other parts of the health system, rather than by calling Triple Zero.

“Make no mistake, when you’re experiencing a medical emergency we will be there for you as quickly as we can,” Dr Morgan said.

“But if our emergency call takers, dispatchers and paramedics are tied up with non-emergency work it can keep us from getting to a genuine emergency.”

Chief Executive of CAA, David Waters said a very high workload due to COVID-19 and Influenza cases, on top of the normal paramedic workload, meant any reduction in call volume would help hardworking clinicians and call-takers immensely.

Mr Waters called on people to assess whether their situation was an emergency.

“Not every call made to our Control Centres is for an emergency and many can be managed through other health pathways,” Mr Waters said.

“While every person who needs an ambulance will get one, sometimes calls that are not an emergency can put pressure on our emergency services,” he said.

“Paramedics across Australia have done an incredible job throughout the pandemic and their efforts keeping the community safe should be commended.”

Mr Waters said people could support paramedics and emergency call-takers by getting their flu jab.

He said it was more important than ever for people to arm themselves against the flu as one of the worst Influenza seasons in a decade was projected to hit the country hard this year.

He said minor symptoms, such as a headache, runny nose and a sore throat, could be managed with the help of a pharmacist.

“That said, both of these viruses can be very dangerous for many in our community,” Mr Waters said.

“You should never hesitate to call an ambulance if you have severe symptoms such a shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing up blood, severe headaches, confusion or fainting,” he said.

“We just want people to consider their symptoms, and the right pathway for them.”

The 30-second Save 000 for Saving Lives campaign video can be accessed at this PS News link.

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