A DELEGATION of NSW paramedics, including Orange representative Craig Parson, marched to Parliament House yesterday to hand over a petition of more than 17,000 signatures against a state government plan to change the ambulance roster system in regional NSW.
Health Services Union acting manager of industrial services Tom Stevanja said the petition was presented to politicians whose electorates were in regional areas, which the union says will be adversely affected by the rostering changes.
“When the Orange paramedics meet with [member for Orange] Mr Gee on Monday I hope they will get a good hearing as it will be a chance for the picture on what is happening at Orange to be made known.”
Mr Stevanja said the move by the Ambulance Service of NSW to change rosters and introduce more frequent shifts would only add to the problems of low staffing levels in Orange and other rural areas.
“What is happening at the moment is that crews are being moved around like pieces on a chess board to make sure there is a response,” he said.
Mr Stevanja cited the example of two Orange day crews being dispatched to a car crash this week and the only Molong crew having to come in and cover the Orange station as a snapshot of what is happening across rural and regional NSW.
“That is nothing unusual and is reflective of the lack of resources,” he said.
Mr Gee was in Parliament yesterday but was contacted for comment on the handing over of the petition.
Recently Orange paramedics, headed by HSU Orange representative Ian Spurway, met with mayor John Davis over critical staffing issues in Orange that often required paramedics to work back-to-back shifts because of insufficient staffing.
Cr Davis moved a motion at council that was supported unanimously to lobby for more paramedics for Orange.