Further to our post yesterday, a serving ambo officer writes:
By way of clarification:
St John employs both events staff and front line ambulance staff. The majority of events staff are volunteers with basic first aid skills, while front-line staff are full time professionals. Most are degree qualified and paid around $50,000 – $60,000pa, some have post grad qualifications and paid around $70,000pa.
Sadly there are a shortage of both. St John salary budgets prohibit employing more full time staff (St John are currently in negotiations with the government for additional funding to employ more staff, primarily so there will no longer be any single crewed vehicles), and the volunteer workforce in general is shrinking.
The field of paramedicine is highly specialized. Nurses cannot do our job. In fact most doctors, with the exception of emergency department doctors, cannot do our job, and require an additional year of post grad study in paramedicine if they want to work as front line ambulance officers. So solving the low staffing numbers isn’t as easy as just getting someone else to do it. Read more »