Contemplating life.

A thank you letter.

Mister Green is a regular. Paramedics are dispatched on a regular basis to his domain, for a variety of reasons. I had been told of him, I had read about his management plan at hospital, but I never had the pleasure to actually meet him.

And to be honest, it actually was a little pleasure. He was polite, relatively clean and tidy, quick on his feet – but reckoned he needed our services nonetheless. With the signs and symptoms he presented with, we had no problems taking him to hospital.

Chronic issues? Probably. Hyperchondriac, attention seeking or time-wasting (as many colleagues class him)? Possibly, but the acute setting is not the place to judge that, especially as I had not come across Mister Green before. No reason to treat him any differently.

En route to hospital, he was friendly and chatty. He told us how he held “you ambos” in very high regard, and really liked the ambulance service. Especially since he had recently received a letter from our head office, thanking him for his continued use of the service, and that the ambulance service is looking forward to his custom in the future.

I think he may have misunderstood that letter slightly… 🙂

Registration Survey

For everyone in Australia, or planning to come to Australia: National Paramedic Registration is up and coming – have your input!

The survey:

The petition:

More information: for more information, visit the Paramedics Australasia website:


I was recently interviewed by Matthew Harris for his HarrisCPD podcast. We discussed what it is like as a paramedic in Australia, the australian paramedic education system, how to become a paramedic here and the up and coming paramedic registration.

Click here to get to the podcast page and listen to it.



Straight from the bottle:

“High concentrations breathed over extended periods may lead to coma or death”

Clearly the bottle was way ahead of its time!


International Guidelines & Protocols: Update

I’ve updated the document with the below information. Thank you very much to everybody who sent in the links, and a special thank you to & for their link collection.

The document can be found by clicking the above link named “International Guidelines”, or by following this link:

Germany Mecklenburg Vorpommern – University of Greifswald
Germany Emergency physician association of northern Germany
Germany Klinikum Munich
Switzerland Zurich
Switzerland City of Basel
Canada Dalhousie University
Mexico CRUM Queretaro
USA North Carolina


2012 Student Paramedic Conference

Things are revving up for this years SPA (Student Paramedic Association) Conference. This will be the third year in a row that I am going – I’ve always had a great time, met some interesting people, learnt a little more, and explored a vibrant city. There are even free passes up for grabs!

From the website:

National SPA Conference 2012

When? Saturday, August 25 2012, 9:00am – 5:30pm

Where? Victoria University City Convention Centre (Level 12, 300 Flinders Street, Melbourne, VIC, 3000)

Cost? SPA members = $60, PA Members= $80, Non-Members = $95

Registration is NOW OPEN!

Welcome to the fifth SPA National Conference 2012. This year’s intensive conference program is designed to appeal to delegates looking to attend an affordable, clinically-focused Paramedic Conference. It is guaranteed to be educational, informative and entertaining with high calibre speakers providing delegates with a plethora of knowledge, skills and information that can be utilised to advance your professional development and clinical skills.

Topics for this years conference include Acute Myocardial Infarction, Trauma, Mental Health, Advanced Life Support and a case-study reviewing a sudden cardiac arrest survival story. Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea will be provided at no additional charge and conference delegates are invited to attend the post conference social networking session only minutes from the venue. We are once again holding our very popular charity raffle in which 100% of the proceeds go directly to Youngcare.

Conference booklet with information on parking, accommodation, sponsors, speakers, program and more will be available soon!

I hope to see you there!

Paramedic Stakeholders

I recently received an email from @arban70, mentor, consultant and all around tireless worker for Paramedics Australasia (PA). Subject? Paramedic Services: Who are the Stakeholders?

So – who are they? Those that run them? Those that fund them? Those that use them?

I believe (and so do many others) that we all are – Paramedics are there to treat and care for anyone in need of their assistance. You never know if you or someone close to you will ever need their services soon – which makes us all stakeholders.

The writingwas  in regards to the consultation of the approaching Australian Paramedic Registration. Reading it, I believe the text is too important, relevant and in a way timeless to stay tucked away in peoples electronic postboxes – so here it is for all to read:


The strange interpretation of a stakeholder by various Health Departments and ambulance

services in the consultation exercise does not greatly surprise me – but it does sadden me to see the myopic view of healthcare and  the inability to think outside the box.


it seems indeed has a varied meaning little related to the dictionary term or the common

meaning applied to the word.

I suggest that the following message be used to engage as many people as possible

into the debate including the ultimate stakeholder – the patient (i.e. the public). Mums

Dads, family members, students and all … there are about 22.3M of them.

So use this rationale for the engagement of real stakeholders…

Every person who is a stakeholder may respond to the consultation and indeed, the

more who do so from outside the ‘system’ the more powerful will be the message.

So ANYONE may respond because the primary concern is the protection of the public (EMS policy has been notably short on real client engagement unfortunately).

Obtaining 1000 or 5000 responses from the public would be wonderful. The paramedic services sector is admittedly poorly-defined and statistical data is unreliable because of the absence of a harmonised regulatory structure. It consists in broad terms of:


  • 140 or more private and statutory employers across Australia at various levels
  • 15 – 20000 Paramedics or related personnel (depending on definition)
  • 1000 Australian Defence Force medics
  • 6000 tertiary-level university students across some 14 universities (2013 estd.)
  • Undergraduate and Postgraduate educational programs and research activities nationally
  • A myriad of inter-professional practice settings with other health professions, and
  • A client base of about 22.3 million Australians in various jurisdictions

When it comes to matters of public policy and healthcare delivery (such as this), it is thus very clear that the stakeholders in the matter of paramedic registration, and their interaction and integration with the health workforce go far beyond the interests of the statutory and contracted service providers or even the professional body PA. The issues involve matters of community services, access and equity, national security and disaster readiness, funding and above all, the public interest.

PA is conscious of the public interest in healthcare delivery which encompasses patient engagement in various forms such as the objective assessment of fitness to practice, complaint investigation and monitoring, service performance with open reporting of KPIs, and safety and quality performance – to mention just some of the areas in which there is a professional and public interest.

Even within the constraints of a limited consultation, these factors justify a wider-ranging consultation process that extends beyond the obvious matter of practitioner or employer involvement.

In summary, Paramedics Australasia has made it clear that a broad and balanced consultation is needed that recognises best practice in policy development and execution through real stakeholder engagement.



As potential patients, that means you and me.

Ambulance International

Ambulance. Quite a well known term.

How to say it in sixty-three other languages?

Look no further!


Afrikaans: ambulans

Arabic: سيارة إسعاف

Armenian: շտապ օգնություն

Azerbaijani: ambulans

Basque: anbulantzia

Belarusian: Хуткая дапамога

Bengali: অ্যাম্বুলেন্স

Bulgarian: линейка

Catalan: ambulància

Chinese (Simplified): 救护车

Chinese (Traditional): 救護車

Croatian: hitna pomoć

Czech: ambulance

Danish: ambulance

Dutch: ambulance

Esperanto: ambulanco

Estonian: kiirabi

English: ambulance

Fillipino: ambulansya

Finnish: ambulanssi

French: ambulance

Galician: ambulancia

Georgian: სასწრაფო დახმარება

German: Rettungswagen (Officially: Rettungstransportwagen)

Greek: ασθενοφόρο

Gujarati: એમ્બ્યુલન્સ

Haitian Creole: anbilans

Hebrew: אמבולנס

Hindi: एम्बुलेंस

Hungarian: mentőautó

Icelandic: Ambulance

Indonesian: ambulans

Irish: otharchairr

Italian: ambulanza

Japanese: 救急車

Kannada: ಆಂಬುಲೆನ್ಸ್

Korean: 구급차

Latvian: ātrā palīdzība

Lithuanian: greitosios pagalbos automobilis

Macedonian: Брза помош

Malay: ambulans

Maltese: Ambulance

Norwegian: ambulanse

Persian: امبولانس

Polish: Ambulans

Portuguese: ambulância

Romanian: ambulanţă

Russian: скорая помощь

Serbian: хитна помоћ

Slovak: ambulancie

Slovenian: Nujna medicinska pomoč

Spanish: ambulancia

Swahili: gari la wagonjwa

Swedish: ambulanser

Tamil: காயமுற்றவர்களையும்

Telugu: అంబులెన్సు

Thai: รถพยาบาล

Turkish: cankurtaran

Ukranian: швидка допомога

Urdu: ایمبولینس

Vietnamese: xe cứu thương

Welsh: ambiwlans

Yiddish: אַמבולאַנס