Paramedic's last plea to 'resilient' Burnett residents
A LONG-serving North Burnett paramedic has clocked off for the last time, but not before issuing a final plea to those he has served for the past 15 years.
Mundubbera's officer-in-charge Steve Smith, 60, is off to Childers to take up his new posting, but wants residents to show their softer side to his replacement.
"I want to stress to people to utilise the (paramedic) service in country areas,” Mr Smith said.
"People will drive themselves in to the hospital because they think it is not serious enough.
"They say, 'Oh, it's 2am, we didn't want to wake you up'.
"Whether it is 2am or 2pm, ring 000 and you will get an ambulance.
"Country people are much more resilient but there are times when you need help.”
Mr Smith says he will miss the relationships he has formed within the community.
"I think we have the best rapport between emergency services, hospital staff and Queensland Health,” Mr Smith said.
"We worked hard building that rapport.”
And he says few towns can rival the closeness of Mundubbera.
"If I can use the example of the 2011 floods, the number of people that came out of the woodwork after we were inundated was phenomenal, people were out moving furniture, you don't get that in every community,” Mr Smith said.
Mr Smith is a career paramedic and has been on the front lines for 31 years.
He says he is "immensely” proud of his service to the people of Mundubbera.
"I used to say that I don't have much money to spend on people, but I do have the ability to help people in their time of need,” Mr Smith said.
Mundubbera Hospital's director of nursing Jan-Adele Hotz said Mr Smith was one of the "most professional and clinically experienced QAS officers that I have had the pleasure of working with”.
"Steve's confidence and calmness in an emergency has ensured that our community always received the best emergency care possible.”