Paramedic interns not left on their own

PARAMEDIC services in Orange and the central west are not under pressure due to a lack of experience, according to a local union official.

Responding to media reports paramedic interns in rural NSW are driving to emergencies without a backup paramedic and lack of training to administer certain levels of drugs, paramedic union representative Matthew Pickering said that wasn’t the case in Orange.

“We don’t have any interns in Orange,” he said.

Mr Pickering, who is president of the Central West Ambulance sub-branch of the Health Services Union (HSU), said in his experience ambulance management had been quick to respond to situations where it looked as though interns would be left on their own to treat patients in this region.

Fairfax has reported two stations in rural NSW are manned exclusively by intern paramedics who are two years short of becoming qualified, however Mr Pickering said that wasn’t the case in this area.

“We haven’t had a situation like that for an extended period of time in this area now and when a situation like that has come up management have been quick to address it,” he said.

“They don’t like it happening as much as we don’t.”

Under NSW Ambulance regulations, intern paramedics are not deemed to be sufficiently qualified to administer certain types of life-saving drugs.

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