Paramedic's death 'one of QAS's saddest days'
AS AN ambulance officer rushed to a critical emergency he became involved in a tragedy himself.
In what Queensland Ambulance Service Acting Deputy Commissioner Gerard Lawler called "one of the saddest days" in QAS history, the Mackay paramedic was killed after his ambulance came off the Mackay Eungella Road on Monday morning.
Nearby community members found the officer in a critical condition and tried in vain to save his life before emergency services arrived.
"The initial call (to report the crash) was made by a community member who lived nearby," Mr Lawler said.
He said that person and other passers-by worked to help the officer who was in a critical condition.
Mr Lawler said attending a serious crash involving a colleague was one of the toughest jobs a paramedic could respond to.
"It's challenging for an ambulance officer to respond to any serious incident but especially one involving one of our own," he said.
Mr Lawler said the officer was a "diligent and professional officer" who worked passionately for his community.
The officer was highly experienced but new to the Mackay area.
Mr Lawler said the officer had been a paramedic in Queensland and other states for more than nine years and in Mackay for about six months.
As of Monday afternoon, the QAS had been unable to contact the officer's next of kin.
Police are investigating the accident's cause and it is expected to be referred to the coroner. -NewsRegional