DESPITE pleas from the Health Services Union (HSU) and Orange mayor John Davis, Orange won’t be getting any additional paramedics.
Ambulance Service of NSW assistant commissioner and director of regional operations Mark Beasley said a lack of funds was the reason no extra paramedics would be employed in the area.
“I know it is tough but there is a lot of pressure at the moment on the public purse,” he said.
Cr Davis said he was disappointed to learn of Mr Beasley’s comments and said he would raise this latest development at next Tuesday’s council meeting.
He said he would also schedule a meeting with Member for Orange Andrew Gee to see what could be done to reverse that decision.
“There’s no risk that if there’s been a upgrade of the services in some areas I’d be disappointed if we weren’t included in that upgrade,” Cr Davis said.
Cr Davis said he took up the case after meeting with Orange paramedics who told him some of their colleagues worked a full day shift and were then required to be ‘on call’ and potentially work all night.
He said he was told many paramedics were at the point of exhaustion but did not want to let the community down.
The meeting had convinced him there was a need for extra personnel, he said.
Mr Beasley said he was familiar with the challenges which face paramedics in the Orange area, and hoped that a trial of a new roster being rolled out by Ambulance Service of NSW will help overcome some of the problems.
“One of the problems we have is to make sure with our roster reform we have two people attending cases in this area,” he said.
Mr Beasley said he welcomed the resumption of talks with paramedics after the earlier breakdown.
“We really want to continue that dialogue,” he said.
Orange’s HSU representative Ian Spurway was unavailable for comment yesterday.