Big thanks to big-hearted community

Thank you Circular Head: Smithton Ambulance volunteers Lesley Arnold, Ethan Hoare, Christine Clarkson and Tony Smart, along with their team, are thanking the community for its generosity. Picture: Jelena Potpara.

Community. Usually it is the community thanking volunteers. Today it is the volunteers doing the thanking.

Smithton Ambulance volunteers – or vollies as they call themselves – want to say thank you to the people of Circular Head for their generosity, support and help.

At present there are 21 volunteers who give about 1000 hours of time each month.

Often they are the first at the scene of an emergency, whether it be an accident or a house call.

They call themselves one big family. They are a mix bag of ages, some in their teens and some in their 60s. And they come from all walks of life.

They work in pairs, and say that no two shifts are ever the same. A shift is a 10-hour day or a 14-hour night.

Days can pass without a call out, while one particular day can be filled with many. Some call-outs will see them at the scene of a suffering loved one. It’s all part of living in a small community, they say.

They also say that their role in the community would not be the same without the support of the community.

According to Smithton Ambulance paramedic Marciej Samborski, if it weren’t for the community and local businesses, the work of the volunteer unit would not be possible. “Since 2003 the [volunteers] have been provided with specialised training mannequins, radio pagers, anatomical models and help with garden improvements at the station.

“The pagers are a vital piece of equipment [allowing the volunteers] to be easily contacted in times of emergency to assist the paramedic and volunteers on shift when extra help is required.”

Mr Samborski said the mannequins and anatomical models were also important as they enabled the volunteers to undertake real-time training and demonstrations as well as provided a greater understanding of the anatomy.

He said in addition to the assistance and donations, the community also helped with major improvements to the station gardens during a working bee.

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