REINFORCEMENTS COMING: Central Queensland will receive fast tracked paramedic graduates like former graduates Alicia Hughes and Luke Allen, to help in the fight against COVID-19. Photographer: Liam Kidston.
REINFORCEMENTS COMING: Central Queensland will receive fast tracked paramedic graduates like former graduates Alicia Hughes and Luke Allen, to help in the fight against COVID-19. Photographer: Liam Kidston.

Fast-tracked paramedics boost CQ’s COVID-19 response

FRESH medical reinforcements have been deployed to assist Central Queensland in the war against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Four new paramedics have been fast-tracked into the region to bolster the Queensland Ambulance Service’s frontline response to the threat.

Keppel MP Brittany Lauga said three paramedics would be stationed in Gladstone and one in Rockhampton.

“The addition to the workforce will help cater for an increase in demand for health care in Central Queensland,” Ms Lauga said.

“Unfortunately, we know the number of cases will continue to rise over the coming weeks which is why we’ve fast-tracked paramedic training, to get extra sets of hands into Queensland communities.”

Keppel MP Brittany Lauga and Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke praise the deployment of new paramedic graduates to the region. (File photo taken pre-social distancing)
Keppel MP Brittany Lauga and Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke praise the deployment of new paramedic graduates to the region. (File photo taken pre-social distancing)

Rockhampton MP Barry O’Rourke said our ambulance officers played a vital role in identifying potential COVID-19 cases and getting patients to facilities where they could be tested, isolated and treated as required.

“By adding extra staff to the workforce we are ensuring we have the capacity in the health system to support Queenslanders should they need it,” Mr O’Rourke said.

Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher said Central Queenslanders could be reassured that his government was continuing to boost frontline resources to assist patients who had contracted the virus.

“Our healthcare workers are literally at the coal face of our fight against this pandemic,” Mr Butcher said.

“Which is why we have already deployed an extra four paramedics for the Central Queensland region.”

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said an additional 60 new graduates would begin training later this month.

Health Minister Steven Miles provides a COVID-19 update in Rockhampton on Wednesday.
Health Minister Steven Miles provides a COVID-19 update in Rockhampton on Wednesday.

“The graduates will be deployed within three weeks of their induction to assist with the pandemic response across the State,” Mr Miles said.

“The majority will be placed in the south-east corner of the state depending on where the demand is.”

QAS Triple Zero (000) Operations Centres will also get a boost, with an additional 15 Emergency Medical Dispatchers to begin training on April 27.

QAS Commissioner Russell Bowles said planning for an expected surge in workload had been ongoing since January.

“We’re well versed at preparing for, and responding to, major events and while this pandemic is something new we’re confident we have the plans in place to meet community demand,” Mr Bowles said.


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