Regional WA receives more Community Paramedics

St John Ambulance WA (SJAWA) has announced that it will appoint two additional Community Paramedics for regional Western Australia in the coming months – one each for the Goldfields region and the Great Southern region. 

In the Goldfields region, the Community Paramedic will be based in Leonora, providing support to the area as far north as Leinster, as far east as Laverton and as far south as Menzies. In the Great Southern region, the Community Paramedic will be based at Jerramungup and will support the area as far north as Pingrup, and as far south as Wellstead, with concentrated seasonal support for the Bremer Bay area during the summer holiday months. 
This will bring the total number of Community Paramedics operating across the country ambulance service to 14 and it comes after SJAWA appointed nine Community Paramedics early in 2011. The Community Paramedic initiative was first trialed in 2008 when the first Community Paramedics were appointed to Newman and Kununurra.

General Manager Country Operations, Chris Boag said that since the Community Paramedic role was introduced for regional WA, local sub centres have received more support particularly with volunteer recruitment and training.
“The underlying role of the Community Paramedic is to provide support and mentoring for local sub centres,” Mr Boag said.

“However, the full scope of the role varies according to the needs of the area in which they are based. With remote areas in particular, Community Paramedics will work closely with the WA Country Health Service (WACHS) to help achieve whole-of-community health goals.”

Mr Boag said increased funding from the State Government in 2010 enabled St John Ambulance WA to extend the Community Paramedic role to other areas in regional WA and deliver several initiatives aimed at improving the country ambulance service.

“These initiatives include aligning the regional operating zones more closely with the WA Country Health Service (WACHS), and basing all six Regional Managers locally within each of the regional zones,” he said.  
“We have also appointed nine Regional Co-ordinators and three Assistant Regional Managers. 

These roles support the sub centres with their capacity to plan and deliver training, assist with financial governance and help sub centres grow their local first aid training services.”
A further eight Community Paramedics are expected to be appointed in the next two years, which would see a total of 22 Community Paramedics operating in regional areas by mid 2014. 

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