NSW Ambulance has defended criticism of the new Coolamon Ambulance Station, rejecting claims it would not be adequately staffed.
The $1.5 million station will start operating later this year, after it was announced it would follow ‘a blended model’ of staffing, run by three paramedics and a team of volunteers.
NSW Ambulance operational support manager, Superintendent Brad Porter, said the staffing model had been selected because it was “the best model” for Coolamon and surrounds.
“The benefit of having qualified volunteers in the community is that if paramedics are transporting a patient out of the area to hospital, the remaining volunteers can turn out to another emergency should it occur at the same time,” said Mr Porter said.
“The benefits of qualified volunteers working alongside paramedics to gain experience and knowledge are clear.”
NSW Ambulance has also defended concerns that staff could be driving past life-threatening Triple-0 emergencies outside of their respondent area.
“Any suggestion crews will be required to bypass patients assessed as having life threatening injuries was blatantly false,” the spokesperson said.
Boosted as a “major investment” that would enhance mobile emergency health services in the area, Mr Porter said recruitment for paramedics and volunteers were well underway.
“NSW Ambulance would like to reassure the community that the closest crew, whether two paramedics or a paramedic and qualified volunteer, will always respond to a life threatening emergency,” Mr Porter said.