ORANGE paramedic union representatives and NSW Ambulance Service need to come to the table and resume talks in an effort to end a stalemate over the lack of numbers for the Orange roster, member for Orange Andrew Gee says.
Mr Gee who met with Health Services Union paramedic Ian Spurway yesterday in Orange said he would like to see an end to the standoff between the two parties.
“I have today contacted NSW Ambulance and they have agreed to resume talks and I would like to see both parties come to the table in good faith,” he said.
Mr Spurway told the Central Western Daily he and a fellow delegate were able to put their case clearly to Mr Gee yesterday.
“I think we managed to get a good hearing from Mr Gee and we [paramedics] are keen to resolve the issues surrounding fatigue of our paramedics and the fact we don’t have enough staff here in Orange,” he said.
Mr Gee said following yesterday’s meeting the issues in Orange are in contrast to other smaller stations.
“Clearly there are different issues here to those of say the North Coast paramedics I spoke with last week in Sydney,” he said.
Mr Spurway said paramedics in Orange are under huge pressure with an increased workload due to the new hospital, and virtually no growth in staff numbers for 20 years.
Last month Mr Spurway met with the mayor John Davis saying paramedics were stretched to breaking point working a roster that means after a full day or night shift they can be called in to work a back-to-back shift because of workloads.
Following that meeting Cr Davis put forward a motion at the next Orange City Council meeting calling for more ambulance staff for Orange.
Mr Gee said other issues coming out of yesterday’s meeting included people using ambulances for non-urgent calls.
Mr Spurway said a possibility of securing a patient transport vehicle for Orange for non-urgent transfers such as monitoring of diabetics who may need to go to hospital, was explored yesterday.
NSW Ambulance said Mr Gee met with acting regional operators director Peter Pilon at Parliament House following the earlier meeting in Orange.
“He has agreed to continue consultation with the Orange sub-branch of the HSU on staffing issues and rostering in Orange,” an ambulance spokesman said.
“Mr Pilon also reassured Mr Gee Orange community was not at risk as Orange has one of the quickest response times in regional NSW.”