Grafton Ambulance intensive care paramedic and station officer Michael Carter.
Grafton Ambulance intensive care paramedic and station officer Michael Carter.

Ambos want abuse of system to stop

AMBULANCE officers are becoming increasingly frustrated as people abuse the emergency service to jump queue and fast-track basic medical checks.

Grafton Ambulance Station officer Mick Carter said that when ambulance officers are tied up with trivial matters and hoax calls they are unable to respond to critical cases.

“People should resist the urge to call an ambulance for trivial things but if there is any uncertainty they should call Triple-0 immediately,” he said

The paramedic reiterated that members of the community should not hesitate to call Triple-0 in the case of an emergency but said some people were under the illusion that by calling an ambulance for minor illnesses they would jump the queue in the local emergency department.

An emergency department spokesperson for Grafton Base Hospital said that all patients were triaged in order of priority, whether or not they arrived in an ambulance.

Every call responded to by an ambulance unit uses precious community resources, with the average call-out costing approximately $1000.

“There is a cost every time you roll the wheel. We only have a certain amount of resources at any one time and once roster resources are exhausted, the on-call crew respond or units from nearby communities are called in,” Mr Carter said.

People experiencing non-life threatening medical conditions should ring their local doctor. For an emergency call Triple-0 from a fixed line or 112 from a mobile.



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