Paramedic changes career to stop accidents before they happen

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Peter Moore

Former paramedic Peter Moore believes he has treated far too many injuries that could have been prevented.

That is why he decided to study a Bachelor of Health Science (Applied Environmental Health) at the University of the Sunshine Coast, which he completed at the end of 2017.

“As a paramedic, I was always trying to help someone who had hurt themselves, but now I am trying to prevent that end result from happening,” Peter said.

“I’ve seen people lose fingers on a 10-inch grinder because they’ve removed the safety shield to see better, but I’d much rather be talking to the foreman to ensure it doesn’t happen in the first place.

“I have always wanted to help the public in some way.”

Peter has started work as an Environmental Health Officer with the City of Greater Geelong, where he will be dealing with noise and pollution, and conducting food business inspections.

Peter, 35, said the best thing about his USC degree was the variety of topics on offer from anatomy to epidemiology and environmental science.

His class also took field trips to pineapple farms and new estates under construction to assess risks and view the safety and environmental health protection measures that were in place.

Environmental Health Program Leader Jane-Louise Lampard said 100 per cent of USC students who completed their environmental health degree at the end of 2017 had gained full-time work within two months of completing their studies.

She said the degree, accredited through Environmental Health Australia, equipped graduates to work anywhere in Australia and opens opportunities in multiple fields of hazard management, including water, disease, food, noise and radiation.

“Environmental health officers play a critical role in protecting public health,” she said.

“Similar to teaching and healthcare, every town needs someone in that role. It is their job to be the hazard radar and think ‘what are the human health hazards present in this environment? Are they chemical, microbial or physical, what are the pathways through which people could be exposed, and how can we mitigate risk?’

“Graduates often end up working in local or state government as environmental health officers or as policy advisor, others work in the private sector.”

“Recent research by global jobs site Indeed found that there is currently high demand for environmental health officers in Australia, so there are great opportunities for graduates.”

 
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