Plan to stay safe this Australia Day long weekend

The Chief Executive Officer of Ambulance Tasmania, Dominic Morgan, has reminded Tasmanians that a small amount of planning can prevent a lot of unwanted trouble this Australia Day long weekend.

Mr Morgan said Tasmanians would this weekend visit beaches, swimming pools and other outdoor areas where they could potentially face hazardous situations.

"The message from Ambulance Tasmania is have fun but without causing harm to yourself and others, especially when it comes to enjoying yourself while drinking alcohol.

"For many Australians, this coming weekend can be associated with having a good time and consuming alcohol.

"We see the result every weekend of people with good intentions whose nights have gone horribly wrong and it's just not worth it.

"Make sure you drink plenty of water when consuming alcohol and try to alternate your drinks with something non-alcoholic.  Eating regularly is also a good idea and definitely don't get behind the wheel of a car if you've had too much.

"Long weekends also see people take part in activities that they normally wouldn't do, so make sure you have adequate safety gear especially when riding bikes or other sports equipment like scooters and skateboards.

"During the past few weeks we've been called to a couple of situations where people have found themselves in trouble in the water, especially surfing or swimming at popular water holes.

"Be water safe and limit your alcohol intake around areas like swimming pools and the beach – especially if you are supervising children.

"Always check the water depth in rivers, creek and dams before you jump in."

Mr Morgan also urged Tasmanians heading out on walks or treks to ensure they had enough of their required medications and had appropriate safety equipment and a means to communicate to get help if misadventure occurs.

"A little planning can go a long way to prevent a good time turning into something disastrous.

"And remember - always call 000 in the case of a genuine medical emergency and ask for the Ambulance.

"It's important to stay calm, listen to the operator's questions and remain on the line until the operator has all the important information.

"Try to answer the questions as clearly and accurately as possible," Mr Morgan said.

The Long Weekend Checklist:

  • Keep up your fluids – especially for young children and the elderly.  Drink plenty of water and make sure you check on elderly friends and family.
  • Try to keep out the sun by finding shade and make sure you wear 30+ sunscreen, a hat and appropriate clothing to prevent sunburn.
  • Never leave children alone in a vehicle.
  • Limit your alcohol intake around areas like swimming pools and the beach – especially if you are supervising children.
  • Swim between the flags at patrolled beaches and make sure that someone knows where you are heading if you are swimming alone.
  • Don't leave children unattended by the pool – it only takes a few minutes for a tragedy to happen.
  • Always check the water depths in rivers, creeks and dams and for submerged objects before jumping in.
  • Check your BBQ gas bottle has been stored correctly and look for any leaks or unusual smells coming from the bottle.
  • Keep children away from hot plates and flames.