They said our ambos were "using patients as pawns". This paramedic's response will blow you away.

Dear Mr Gardiner, Press Secretary to David Davis

I am a Paramedic with almost 16 years experience. I have spent the past 11 years at Melbourne’s busiest MICA units.

My job can be very emotionally rewarding and at other times emotionally devastating. For example:

On Easter Sunday, whist you were enjoying time with family, I was walking into a family home devastated by the death of two beautiful little girls who’s father has since been charged with their murder. Whilst you were eating chocolate and hot cross buns, I was the only Paramedic at the scene, split down the middle, attempting to save their innocent little lives. Whilst you were sitting back and reflecting on a great day, I was crying for the loss of two girls I had never met before.

This week whilst you were in your comfortable office, I was in the rain, again by myself, again split down the middle, again trying to care for two patients at the same time. This time, it was 2 elderly gentlemen involved in a high impact motor vehicle accident. This time both patient were alive, but had suffered injuries that could see that change very quickly. Again I worked to the best of my ability to provide the best outcome for these critically unwell patients.

I don’t expect you to understand my frustration resulting from being forced to stand by and watch the condition of these two men deteriorate before my eyes whilst we waited for a hospital bed at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and realise that my hard work and effort had been completely wasted by a the hospitals inability to provide a bed and therefore, the care that these elderly men required and deserved.


But let me tell you, this level of frustration became insignificant compared to the anger I felt when I read your defamatory comments, accusing me of using these patients as pawns in our industrial campaign. I was asked to provide three inteviews, highlighting the health crisis at the hands of your government. Not once did I mention the ambulance EBA. Not once did I mention or pay and conditions. Not once did I mention Paramedic suicide rates, Paramedic mental health issues, Paramedic retention rates or any of the other issues relating to our unsustainable choice profession.

Paramedics are not highlighting your governments failings resulting in the health crisis to gain a pay rise. We are raising these issues because we care about people. We raise these issues now because we can due to protected action, but as you well know, even if your government did care enough to fix the health crisis, paramedics would be no financially better off at all. The two issues are completely separate and for you and your manipulative government to use this kind of spin is incredibly damaging, insulting, and unethical.


Craig Hazelwood
Intensive Care Paramedic


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