Needless cuts to Central Coast paramedic Specialists

Specialist paramedics working on the Central Coast are being told they cannot serve as Intensive Care Specialists due to transferring from one Ambulance station to another.

NSW Ambulance has determined that there is not enough funding available to cover their higher clinical skills.

“NSW Ambulance is playing hardball and forcing specialist paramedics transferring between Ambulance stations on the Central Coast to drop their specialist skills so that their pay can be reduced,” said Australian Paramedics Association (NSW) President Chris Kastelan.

“As paramedics, we want to bring our best to every job. NSW Ambulance is putting lives at risk by actively asking paramedics who have done additional live-saving specialist training to deskill,” he said.

Two APA (NSW) members with experience as Intensive Care Paramedics on the Central Coast have been told that their new positions at Hamlyn Terrace and Ettalong stations will not be supported as specialist positions.

“Intensive Care Paramedics have specialised skills, equipment and medication. Who will take responsibility when a patient dies because a specialist paramedic was blocked by NSW Ambulance from performing an emergency resuscitation?” Mr Kastelan said.

“We are talking about the lives of our friends and families here on the Central Coast. It is time for the bureaucrats at NSW Ambulance to stop playing games over a few dollars an hour, stop the stingy bean-counting, and let paramedics do their jobs.”

“While workers in NSW are suffering from record low wage growth, insecure work and the loss of jobs, the arrogance of NSW Ambulance to block Intensive Care Paramedics from being paid a fair wage commensurate with their training regardless of where they are beggars belief.”

“After the last State election, parliamentarians gave themselves promotions that delivered salary sweeteners of between $10,000 and $110,000 a year on top of their basic salary.”

“How is it that a front-line intensive care paramedic cannot attain the same pay they would normally get, even if they change stations? This is a kick in the guts for paramedics, not only here on the Central Coast but this has a real chance of being implemented across the State. It’s not on!”

Mr Kastelan said the APA (NSW) would continue to fight for specialist paramedics to be given their proper pay, including in the Industrial Relations Commission.”

/Public Release.