‘No ambulance’ for New Norfolk last night

LACK of staff forced the temporary closure of the New Norfolk Ambulance Station last night, Legislative Councillor Craig Farrell revealed earlier today. “The ambulance station was closed from 6pm last night to 8am this morning because no crew was available,” Mr Farrell said.

Mr Farrell, who is up for re-election to the seat of Derwent on May 1, said he had been shocked to learn that a lack of staff had forced the closure of the local ambulance station overnight. “This meant all of the Derwent Valley was left without rapid response ambulance coverage for emergency situations from their local station which simply is not good enough” Mr Farrell said.

Mr Farrell (pictured above at the ambulance station) said the Liberal State Government was showing “complete disregard for residents of the Derwent Valley” by failing to address ongoing concerns about ambulance coverage. “This has been an ongoing issue for some time and the government doesn’t seem interested in fixing it,” he said.

“Despite endless promises, the government is failing to recruit enough staff to meet increasing demand and people living in country areas are suffering for longer, with increased response times compared to those living in urban areas. Peter Gutwein and Sarah Courtney’s inaction is putting people’s lives at risk and I am calling on them to show some respect for the people of the Derwent Valley and address this serious situation before it is too late.”

At Thursday night’s Derwent Valley Council meeting, mayor and Liberal Party candidate Ben Shaw fielded questions from Cr Paul Belcher about whether his party’s policies were consisted with the needs of local ratepayers. Cr Shaw said he “absolutely” had the ratepayers’ best interest at heart.

Health Minister Sarah Courtney today said Tasmanians all over the state could be assured that assistance from Ambulance Tasmania would be provided if needed. “The New Norfolk station was temporarily offline overnight due to unexpected sick leave, with coverage supported by neighbouring areas.

“This is nothing more than scaremongering from Mr Farrell, who obviously feels pressure given the strong challenge from Ben Shaw in the upcoming legislative council election,” Ms Courtney said.

4 Comments

  1. Coverage from where?
    What would the response time be compared to the local crew?
    Why doesn’t the Derwent Valley deserve a health service?

  2. Agreed, I live near Westerway, If I had a heart attack last night (not beyond the realms of probability) I would be dead and not typing this. How lucky am I, I got to live another day!
    Fix the damn problem through the Derwent Valley!! It’s not much to ask, to receive the same emergency services all other Electorates enjoy. (and that includes being able to cover sick leave) We do all pay taxes and rates you know!! While I am at it, It’s time to get rid of the Liberal party (next election) and our very own local council needs to lift it’s game, starting with its “cloak of silence”

  3. Since Health Minister Sarah Courtney obviously feels there is no problem with the ambulance station being shut down, she is essentially saying that ambulance station is not needed. Following on from previous Liberal actions, the station will now be marked for removal.

  4. From the Ambulance Tasmania website
    http://www.ambulance.tas.gov.au/volunteers/volunteers
    “Not all communities are actively recruiting new volunteers all the time. We currently have a significant waiting list of applicants wishing to work out of Sorell / Huonville / New Norfolk and as such, we are only accepting a limited number of applications for these stations at this time. Please check back regularly for updates and changes.”

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