To all members and paramedics across Australasia
Once again the board is writing with respect to a catastrophic natural event within our region.
Sadly, the summer period in 2011 has provided many challenges for emergency medical services with floods, fires, cyclones, and now earthquakes. In particular at this time our attention is drawn to those people affected by the earthquake and subsequent aftershocks in the Canterbury Region of New Zealand.
The Board are thinking of all those in New Zealand, and in particular our members, who are directly or indirectly impacted by this event. These earthquakes and aftershocks are looking like being the worst natural disaster in New Zealand’s history and many, many people have lost their homes, livelihoods and their lives. Whilst rescue operations continue and recovery operations have commenced in some locations, there are many parts of the region that are continuing to experience more aftershocks.
We have sent correspondence to Jaimes Wood, CEO of St John NZ, offering our condolences to the paramedics of NZ and expressing our support for the wonderful work that paramedics are providing to this terrible event. Paramedics from the various emergency ambulance providers in NZ have been relocated into the Canterbury region to provide emergency medical services to those effected by this event.
Paramedics are also being deployed as part of the various international Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams, with USAR paramedics representing many countries including Australia (NSW & QLD), Japan, United States, China, and the United Kingdom. Additionally, specialist paramedics with experience in Peer Support have been deployed from Australia (Victoria) to assist.
I would like to extend from the Board to our NZ colleagues, our thoughts and very best wishes. Further, to all paramedics who are responding to and supporting this operation, regardless of your country of origin, we extend our sincere thanks for your dedication and commitment. Be safe and take care.
Ian Patrick ASM FACAP