Derwent Valley's life-saving volunteers recognised


Volunteers first on the scene of medical emergencies in the Derwent Valley have been recognised for their life-saving work.

Ambulance Tasmania CEO Dominic Morgan and Central Highlands Mayor Deirdre Flint today [18 February 2013] presented Ellendale's 10-member Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) with certificates of appreciation.

Mr Morgan said the team was made up of Volunteer Ambulance Officers who provide immediate life-saving medical help to patients before Ambulance Tasmania paramedics arrive.

"CERT teams are instrumental for smaller and more remote communities located some distance from the nearest ambulance station," Mr Morgan said.

"The teams are able to secure a scene, assess the patient, provide life-saving first aid and ongoing patient care until additional ambulance crews arrive.

"CERT volunteers are active members of their community - the Ellendale team came about following lobbying and interest from the local community.

"The team began its work in November last year and was particularly helpful during the recent bushfires in the Central Highlands.

"Since November the team has attended 17 emergency jobs and was the first on the scene for every one of them.

"Having trained volunteers in the area, backed up by a specially equipped Ambulance Tasmania vehicle, gives the community increased peace of mind," Mr Morgan said.

The CERT Program is based on similar programs across the country.

Mr Morgan said it was simply not possible to have Ambulance Tasmania stations in every rural and remote area, but having the CERT teams on hand meant professional and safe care could be provided while AT paramedics made their way to the scene.

"The Ellendale team is a shining example of a successful CERT team in action," Mr Morgan said.

Funding for the CERT program comes through the Federal Government's contribution to the Tasmanian Patient Transport Initiative.

 18 February 2013