Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith is calling on the state government to deliver a long overdue ambulance station for Alstonville and Wollongbar as part of the increase in 750 paramedics and ambulance control centre staff over the next four years.
“Currently Alstonville and Wollongbar rely on Ballina and Lismore for their ambulance service, which means that in the best case scenario you will be waiting 15-20 minutes for an ambulance,” said Ms Smith.
“In some of the worst cases, people have waited upwards of 45 minutes for an ambulance. Seconds count when it comes to medical emergencies, especially cases of cardiac arrest where resuscitation is seen as futile after 20 minutes without effective CPR.
“Alstonville and Wollongbar have a combined population of over 8,000 residents, while smaller towns like Yamba and Maclean have their own ambulance stations. It seems like madness to me that the state government does not see a local ambulance service for Alstonville and Wollongbar as being justified.
“The local Fire and Rescue crew do an amazing job in responding to medical emergencies, but they are not able to transport patients, which means in most cases an ambulance is still going to be called out.
“If an ambulance has to drive 20 minutes out to Alstonville or Wollongbar it also creates potentially deadly wait times for Lismore and Ballina, it’s an unacceptable level of risk for such a large population.
“I call on the New South Wales government to finally deliver the ambulance service we need to keep our residents safe,” said Ms Smith.
Tamara Smith has set up an online petition for residents to sign at www.tamarasmith.org.au/ambulanceforalstonville