Sign to support paramedics

ORANGE residents are being asked to get behind a push for more paramedics for the city by signing a petition launched yesterday by Orange City Council.

Councillor Glenn Taylor is spearheading the campaign, after putting the proposal to council late last year.

Cr Taylor said he had taken up the case for more paramedics after hearing several stories about the pressure paramedics were under due to insufficient staffing levels in Orange.

However, it was a family crisis, when there was a delay in getting an ambulance to his house for his seriously ill daughter, that made the cause a personal one.

“I never want to go through anything like that again. That long wait was a dreadful experience,” Cr Taylor said.

“The paramedics on the job have told me the challenges they are facing because we don’t have enough paramedics and it is putting lives at risk.

“To think a place the size of Orange has one night crew working, with the other on call after having worked all day, is a ridiculous situation.”

Cr Taylor hopes businesses will get on board and download the petition from Orange City Council’s website or call in and pick one up.

He said the target was 10,000 signatures, which would be sufficient for the issue to be debated in Parliament.

The completed petition will be given to Member for Orange Andrew Gee to present in Parliament.

Greengate Newsagency owner Stephen Parker said he was one of the first to offer to encourage customers to sign the petition in his newsagency.

“When the 24-hour helicopter petition was launched I was happy to have it here and this is the case for the paramedics petition, because it is an important issue for the whole community,” he said.

Mr Gee attended yesterday’s launch but said he would not play an active role in supporting the petition,  as he believed staffing levels were adequate for Orange.

When the issue of more paramedics for the city came before council last year a Health Services Union representative said six more paramedics were needed to keep pace with the city’s population growth over the last 20 years.

NSW Ambulance says response times in Orange meet benchmark standards.

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