Pa-roo-medic takes on unexpected patient
IT STARTED like any other job for paramedic Ben Clifford when he was called to a single-vehicle crash at Buderim yesterday morning, but when he arrived at Stringybark Rd he had to rethink his approach.
The car had collided with a kangaroo about 7am, and while the driver was uninjured, the roo wasn't so lucky.
While an off-duty firefighter and bystanders tried to remove the carcass of the dead kangaroo from under the vehicle's wheel, Mr Clifford saw a tiny face pop out of the dead animal's pouch.
The fact that this was not his usual kind of patient didn't hold Mr Clifford back at all.
"I just thought 'what can I do for this animal?'," he said.
"It's not every day you're faced with it.
"It's instilled in all of us in the industry to help when you can."
He went back to basics.
"We're trained to deal with the unknown and investigate and assess, and find out what is wrong," he said.
"Not all of our patients can talk to us and tell us what's going on."
A quick assessment revealed bumps and grazes, and the young marsupial was wrapped up and cuddled for warmth and comfort.
It was transported by ambulance to Chancellor Park Veterinary Surgery at Tanawha where the orphaned joey was assessed. Not badly injured, vets said it would be referred to Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital.
It wasn't the first time Mr Clifford had treated a kangaroo in a traffic crash.
About seven years ago he treated a full-sized roo at the scene of a crash before a wildlife ambulance took over.
"It's uplifting to be able to reach out and help anyone in their time of need," he said.
"And to be able to help a wild animal ... it was rewarding to be able to recognise and get that little joey to a place that could look after it."