MP: Fraser Island paramedics run ragged by holiday workload
MEMBER for Hervey Bay Ted Sorensen is concerned there are not enough paramedics on Fraser Island, saying the two paramedics on the island were run off their feet during the busy holiday period.
The Fraser Island Association backed Mr Sorensen, and said the island's population doubled during the school holidays.
But the chief superintendent of the Wide Bay Ambulance Service, Rony Sapir, said resources on the island were adequate.
Mr Sapir said there were 50 emergency call-outs during the holiday period compared to 42 the year before.
"At this point in time I guess I would definitely say that our resources are adequate for the island," he told ABC radio.
"We've had a very small increase over that six-week time period and if at any time the data shows us that we need to have more paramedics over there, then we'd certainly move towards that to provide the service that Queenslanders would expect," Mr Sapir said.
"At this point in time I guess I would definitely say that our resources are adequate for the island.
"We have had a very, very small increase which equates to one extra job every four days, we have two paramedics based on the island that work a rotating roster and the island is extremely well serviced with paramedics.
"We've also built in a first responder-type response; in addition we also have a vast helicopter network that covers the Queensland coast."
However, Mr Sorensen maintained the island's two paramedics needed more back-up.
"So you could get somebody over there quickly, especially when they're working long shifts," he said.
"That's the time when they really need some back-up, to get somebody over there to give them a rest and make sure that they're taken care of because they get pretty tired if they're working those night shifts and then people come into the station during the day.
"Some of those ambos have been working 24-hour shifts; that's when they really need a break, when they've put in some long days and everything all happens at once.
"Some of those guys over there, they really work some long hours and that's when they really need back-up," Mr Sorensen said.