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Saving lives throughout time

LOOKING BACK: Newspaper clippings, old school oxygen equipment and an mix of equipment used by past paramedic equipment used in the Ambulance exhibit in the School of Arts building.
LOOKING BACK: Newspaper clippings, old school oxygen equipment and an mix of equipment used by past paramedic equipment used in the Ambulance exhibit in the School of Arts building. Mike Knott BUN190917AMBULANCE9

JUST a phone call away, our everyday heroes are the first-on-scene of an emergency or crisis, but the tools they've used throughout the last century have changed significantly.

The Queensland Ambulance Service celebrated their 125th anniversary at the beginning of the month and the QAS Bundaberg Local Ambulance Committee set up an exhibition of the region's paramedical work throughout the years.

Stepping back into a time before the First World War, there was an extensive array of newspaper clippings, paramedic equipment, ambulance guidelines, vehicles and wages... or lack of.

President of the Bundaberg LAC Desley Cunnington said the first manner in which the funding for the ambulance service has changed was astounding.

"I'm very proud of all the work our paramedics do and what has been done by the committee,” she said.

"Where the committee used to help fundraise for wages and getting equipment, some of money raised went towards aero-medical services but now a lot of the fundraising goes towards training and education.”

Ambulance exhibit in the School of Arts building.
Ambulance exhibit in the School of Arts building. Mike Knott BUN190917AMBULANCE2

Queensland Ambulance Service Bundaberg officer in charge Cameron Anderson said the way medicine has evolved is life saving - from the way to treat a snake bite accompanied with a nip of rum, to cardiac intervention.

"We can now treat a heart attack before they get on the stretcher,” he said.

"We can then think about how best to help you once you get into the hospital and also in recovery.

"With the technology we have, everyone has an iPad and can quickly research different variations and symptoms to tailor a medical regimen specifically for that patient.”

An old school medical kit carried by paramedics where every minimal, with safety pins, bandages and a couple of medicine bottles, in comparison to the range of equipment and drugs carried by ambulance officers today.

Ms Cunnington said the professionalism, skills, equipment and education of Bundaberg paramedics is world-class.

Ambulance exhibit in the School of Arts building.
Ambulance exhibit in the School of Arts building. Mike Knott BUN190917AMBULANCE3

Topics:  ambulance hindsight paramedics qas



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