Nana Glen gets the keys to First Responders ‘ambo’

Senior members of Ambulance NSW and Nana Glen First Responders with Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh.

 

IT’S here.

Nana Glen First Responders have officially received the keys to the first ever purpose-built dedicated Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) vehicle.

Community members, officials from NSW Ambulance, SES volunteers, Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh and various news outlets attended the handover celebration at Nana Glen Hall on Wednesday 15 December.

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Noel Furness, President of The First Responders community at Nana Glen told News Of The Area, “This has been something we’ve been working on for three years.

“Initially I was told ‘it’ll never happen’ and when someone says that to me, I say ‘we just have to make it possible’.

“We pushed the Committee and got sponsors on board and then the local and Federal Government got on board.

“When we got $25,000 through the Premier’s Grant it was the nudge to get us all the way there, then the Ambulance Service heard what we were up to and said they could do something for us…and now here we are.

“Communication will be so much better.

“Previously we had the address on a piece of paper, that’s all we had, and off we’d go.

Desiree O’Brien ASM, Manager, Clinical Volunteers, NSW Ambulance Volunteers, was in Nana Glen for the formalities.

Picking up Noel’s point about communication, Desiree told News Of The Area, “It has a mobile data terminal link which means that our control centre back at Newcastle can see where they are any time – that’s a huge safety feature.

“It means that they get all their enhanced mapping system through that data terminal and get all of the incident details.

“It comes with a vehicle radio which has a greater transmission range, whereas before they were on handheld portable radios.

“It has a mobile phone amplifier to help cater for the mobile phone reception issues around here.

“And with the latest clinical equipment it means the CERT team can deliver a level of clinical care that complements what our paramedics do when they arrive on the scene.

“It’s about the patients’ journey, which starts with the 000 call, then skilled hands-on care by clinical volunteers, transferring to the paramedics and then hospital through to discharge.

Always keen to hear from prospective volunteers, Desiree said, “The highly visible vehicle will drive conversation in the community.

“People will say ‘hey, how can I be a part of this’, which will sustain the service’s future in Nana Glen.”

Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh said, “This is another amazing initiative provided by the NSW Government supporting the Nana Glen team and the local community.

“The vehicle will help save lives in the region and will provide enhanced safety and security for the clinical volunteers to respond to incidents in Nana Glen and surrounding regions.”

Previously first responders used their own private vehicles which they drove to a “boxy little shed” adjacent to the village’s cafe, Idle In Café, to pick up their clinical equipment before proceeding to the incident.

Leeharne Hawley, Nana Glen CERT volunteer said, “Ours is an elderly population so we’re responding to their age-related emergencies, cardiac issues, falls, asthma and performing CPR, and being rural we have people falling off horses and farm accidents.”

Peter Dawson, a paramedic from Coffs Harbour, is a long-time trainer for the Nana Glen and Glenreagh volunteers.

“It’s pretty amazing what the First Responder volunteers give to the community,” said Peter.

“They respond to anything you can think of plus 100 more.

“Once a month throughout the year, they work through training modules, online and face-to-face, to a level of our skills.

“These guys are on the scene first and can communicate back to us what resources are needed, as we’re coming up from Coffs,” he said.

 

By Andrea FERRARI

 

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