Thirty years of caring

Posted on 20 January 2019

MOBILE HOSPITAL: The vehicle where Peter Higgins says they are able to begin treatment for accident and injury victims to save lives immediately.“It starts from the time we pull up,” Inverell intensive care paramedicPeter Higgins says, sitting at the edge of one of the chairs at the Otho Street ambulance station.
Nanjing Night Net

“And when a job works well, it’s really, really rewarding, and to know you’ve made a difference in that person’s life.”

This year sees Peter at the 30-year mark as district ambo,and the warm,effusive 49-year-old seems to have no plans to slow down.

He loves his work, and looks forward to getting back on the job at the tail end of every holiday.

As an Ashford youth, Peter initially wanted to be a nurse, but his path took him to NSW Ambulance,where he has seen the service evolve over the decades.He began his training in Sydney at a time when paramedicshad fewer resources to aid victims.

“When I first joined,you had your oxygen mask and a bit of reassurance and that was about it, but now, we’ve got that many more advanced drugs and procedures that we can do, andairway management, and defibrillation,” Petersaid.

“So it is a mobile hospital –the ambulance isn’t just a band-aid solution anymore. Advanced care happens at the home,” and he urged people to pick up the phone and dial 000 as early as possible.

Peter Higgins.

When he first took to the roads after training at about age 21, it was a steep learning curve and harsh baptism for the young paramedic.“It was single person out backthen, because, that’s just how it rolled,” he said.

“Attending major accidents with multiple deaths and horrific injuries, and waiting for people to turn up from Glen Innes or Armidale to back me up.”

It was very different to the current model of two officers on every call, but Peter said theearly experience was valuable.

“Everyone in the station’s done it, or the majority of them, but I think you got a lot more confidence in yourself, and you know that you can handle a lot more situations,” he said.

Peter took his training a step higher in 2014, becoming the firstof Inverell’s now twointensive care paramedics.

He attributedsuccess in an ambo’sthe jobto the support of family; in his case, hiswife Jodi and daughters Charlie and Georgie, his friendsand colleagues, and despite the intensity of the work, he has no plans to retire any time soon.

“It’s just the personal contact with people,” he said. “The smile at the end of the day, and I’m happy.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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