Minister for Police, Corrective Services and Emergency Services
The Honourable Neil Roberts
TWENTY NEW ADVANCED CARE PARAMEDICS FOR QUEENSLAND
Twenty new advanced care paramedics will take up positions across Queensland in the coming weeks after graduating from the Queensland Combined Emergency Services Academy (QCESA) in Brisbane today.
Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts said the graduation ceremony represented a proud moment in the lives of graduates and a significant boost for the Queensland Ambulance Service's (QAS) ranks.
"The Diploma of Paramedic Sciences (Ambulance) course completed by today's graduates is one of only a few courses across Australia to produce work-ready Advanced Care Paramedics," Mr Roberts said.
"During the past 30 months, these paramedics have learnt practical and theoretical skills necessary to provide patients across Queensland with world-class pre-hospital care.
"I congratulate each of today's graduates in joining one of the best, if not the best, ambulance services in Australia."
On graduating, the 20 new paramedics will be deployed across f ive QAS regions with 10 posted to Brisbane, 5 to South Eastern, two to Far Northern, two to Central and one to North Coast.
QAS Commissioner David Melville congratulated the new Advanced Care Paramedics on their career advancement.
"Today's graduates should be extremely proud of having attained this level of training, which will allow them to become the next generation of QAS paramedics to serve communities in their time of need," Mr Melville said.
"Each of these Advanced Care Paramedics has already experienced life on the frontline, having worked in regions across the State throughout the course.
"This qualification means that our graduates can continue to make a real difference to the lives of Queenslanders by contributing to their health, safety and wellbeing."
Minister Roberts said that the graduation of 20 new advanced care paramedics demonstrated the State Government's continued commitment to boosting QAS ranks in line with growi ng communities.
"We are committed to ensuring the people of Queensland receive the highest level of ambulance care available and we will employ an additional 50 ambulance officers this financial year," he said.
"The State Government has also allocated funding for 150 new ambulances, as well as the installation of satellite navigational technology in all operational ambulance vehicles across the state.
"The QAS last month became the first in Australia and one of the first emergency medical services in the world to trial a new portable ultrasound machine, and we are committed to staying at the international forefront of pre-hospital care."
Mr Roberts said the Bligh Government's investment in the QAS was matched by the professionalism of QAS staff and the quality of patient care they provided to Queensland communities.
"The QAS does an outstanding job and last year responded to more than 860,000 calls for help from Queenslanders, that's a n average of one every 35 seconds," Mr Roberts said.
"The response times to these calls are amongst the best in the country, with 50 percent of emergency cases in 2008-09 responded to within 8.4 minutes, compared to 10.3 minutes in New South Wales.
"Last year our ambulance officers attended 90 percent of emergency cases within 17.2 minutes and in 2007-08, we had the best response times for 50 percent of emergency cases in the country at 8.3 minutes, ahead of New South Wales at 9.9 minutes."
Mr Roberts said the Bligh Government's continued investment in frontline emergency services was reflected in the level of respect communities had for the role played by QAS staff.
"Queensland paramedics achieved a patient satisfaction rating of 99 percent in 2008-09, up from 98 percent in 2007-08," Mr Roberst said.
"This extraordinary appreciation for the service provided by our paramedics may go some way to explaining why paramedic have been voted as the most trusted profession in the Readers Digest poll six years in a row.
"The Bligh Government will continue to deliver on its commitment to give our frontline emergency services staff the technology and resources they need to continue providing Queenslanders with world-class service."