News that extra paramedics will join the Sunshine Coast ranks was welcomed by Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson who also rebuked false claims of staffing cutbacks.
“Our area is growing and there has been no cutbacks in ambulance officer numbers. A media story that university students had been used to backfill to cover cutbacks was wrong on both fronts. There are no cutbacks and university student did not take on the role of the paramedic who was still manning the shift,” Ms Simpson said.
“I am advised that on one occasion a two-man shift was down an officer due to sickness, and the service categorised the unit as a “single response unit”, meaning the paramedic on duty was assigned immediate backup from neighbouring ambulance stations if required.”
Ms Simpson said that additional paramedics were expected to join the growing Sunshine Coast region in the new financial year but in the meantime, there had been no cutback in operational numbers in this financial year.
“Students on practical placement were not and I am advised never will be asked to stand in for permanent paramedics.
“Our Ambulance Officers are highly trained and highly valued. They should be praised for the amazing job they do, instead of being used as the subject of political scare-mongering by the unions.” Ms Simpson said.