Who We Are

'The AEA is a non-for profit organisation which was formed in 2015 when a group of Paramedics, Ambulance Officers, Transport Officers and Communications Center staff decided to look at forming an association that would be specifically dedicated to looking after and representing the interests of Paramedics/Ambulance Officers, Transport Officers and Communications Center staff'.

Important Messages

The Channel 9 Statement – “there will be no ramping this weekend”.

It has been brought to our attention that Channel 9 are reporting that a meeting occurred between the St John Executive and Senior Health Department officials late yesterday afternoon. Apparently, what is being stated is that there will be ‘No Ramping’ this weekend if we hit ‘crisis point’ (which has not been quantified). To date there has been no official directive from SJA regarding this statement. If there ever is one, please remember the following.

Whilst we also believe that once we enter a hospital it needs to be the hospital staff that take care of the patient, not us, which has been the subject of discussions for many years between HDWA, SJA and the Association. To put it bluntly YOUR REGISTRATION MAY BE AT RISK in any complaint raised that alleges detriment to a patient once left without being triaged or placed in the waiting room without instruction from hospital triage staff. This may also raise an incident with AHPRA who will possibly not support any unauthorised action not directed by the employer.

Until a written directive is issued from SJA Executive, it will be BUSINESS AS USUAL.

Any concerns, as always contact the AEAWA on [email protected] or speak to an AEAWA Delegate.

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AEAWA Executive

The Standing Committee on Public Administration
Report 37: Delivery of Ambulance Services in Western Australia – Critical Condition

It is advisable that all members review the Report tabled in Parliament today to view the findings and more importantly the recommendations. There are many to digest and it is hoped that once implemented, many of the issues we face on a daily basis will be resolved. To view the report click here.

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The AEAWA Annual General Meeting
The AEAWA would like to thank all of the members who came along to the AGM. Much was discussed and the minutes of the evening can be seen here.

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The “there is no OT available” response
There have been many instances of late were members have contacted the AEAWA after being denied overtime from rosters only to find out that numerous RASO crews have filled the gaps in the roster. The AEAWA Executive have contacted SJA after each of these reported instances, as we believe this goes against ALL of our discussions on how the RASO crews should be implemented.

Today we have had communication from the SJA Ambulance Service Director stating that overtime should in the first instance be offered to AO/AP or AP/AP crews first. As part of those discussions we are asking anyone who contacts rosters and is denied the overtime to send an email to wil.whi[email protected] detailing who they spoke to at rosters and the time and the date the OT was declined. This will allow tracking of the OT denial and an RT check to see if a RASO crew was working on the same shift.

We also ask you to bcc the AEAWA into that email ([email protected]) so we can maintain transparency within this process. Also, if you have been told ‘no’ to OT since March 21, 2022 please email the same details to the above parties.

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The AEAWA Information Board

Here you will find all information relating to our Association and Organisation.

AEAWA Bulletins

Transfer of Care Directive - 20th January, 2022

Workplace Law: Fact of the Day

An employer can give you lawful and reasonable instruction, and wilfully ignoring a lawful and reasonable instruction can be considered serious misconduct which can lead to termination. The crucial issue is whether an instruction is ‘reasonable and lawful’.

An employee cannot be expected to follow an employer’s directive ‘if carrying out such a directive would cause serious or imminent risk to the health or safety of the employee or other workers’. Refusing to follow a directive under such circumstances does NOT constitute serious misconduct and therefore CANNOT result in summary dismissal.

The AEAWA would consider inadequate Infection Prevention & Control measures as constituting a serious/imminent risk to the health of yourself, your co-workers and your patients, especially during a declared health emergency pandemic. Therefore in our opinion an instruction which would lead to such an OH&S risk will be neither lawful nor reasonable.

St John Ambulance WA Human Epidemic Plan - 21st December, 2021

St John invited both employment representative groups to a meeting to discuss the state transition plan when the borders open in early 2022, and hear the St John human epidemic ‘plan’. The AEAWA attended this meeting on the 15th December 2021. The AEAWA attended but our counterparts representatives were not present. The key focus areas of this meeting would be ‘transfer of care’ and ‘mixed crews’. St John state that they wanted to ‘consult’ on the models of care (i.e ‘mixed crews’) should the impact of COVID-19 be such that triggers in the SJWA Human Epidemic Management Plan 2020 are met. St John outlined how this will likely involve ‘mixed crews’ in Ambulance with PTS, EHS, Volunteers and External Agencies. St John envisage that in the first instance, Ambulance would access support from PTS and then PTS would in turn access support from EHS. However, depending on the required escalation there will be a need to access support from EHS and/or volunteers to maintain service delivery of Ambulance. St John state that they have been working on a ‘training matrix’ for the different groups (ie volunteers) to ensure that they are familiar with the equipment that Paramedics need to use.

As we have seen in other countries, the COVID pandemic shows no signs of being a short term, temporary crisis. We will most likely be managing surges in pandemic illness for many years to come. If we ALLOW the organisation to begin mixing crews with EHS and other volunteers in metropolitan areas, we guarantee this will become NORMAL operating procedure. Once established as a viable option, it WILL become the default way to managing ALL future fluctuations in demand. Recruitment of career staff will no longer be a priority. ALL demand will be able to be tenuously linked back to COVID surges or hospital congestion because of COVID, and therefore justifiable.

WE WILL NOT LET THIS HAPPEN

The AEAWA reject in the strongest possible terms the planned use of volunteers with our career Transport Officers, Paramedics and Ambulance Officers. We mean no disrespect to volunteers, but this is a line we cannot allow to be crossed.

WE HAVE ADVISED ST JOHN THAT SHOULD THEY PROPOSE TO IMPLEMENT THIS, WE WILL UNDERTAKE A STOP WORK MEETING AND BEGIN INDUSTRIAL ACTION IMMEDIATELY.

St John have had two years to prepare for this eventuality, two years to recruit appropriately and to consult without an impending deadline! Unbelievably, St John have distributed a ‘meeting summary’ email which does not outline ANY of our stated objections. Clearly this is an attempt to disguise and falsify the ‘consultation process’ to satisfy Fair Work that genuine consultation has occurred and all parties were in agreeance. They were NOT. St John also discussed that they are currently working on an AO/AO model as one of the models to establish pre-transition date to understand operational impact and efficacy. They state the need for this is not solely related to COVID, but it is also due to the current high number of AOs. St John believe these AO crews will attend P2 and P3 cases. The AEAWA will absolutely reject the attendance of P2 cases by AO/AO crews, and highlight the lack of thought, lack of risk assessment, lack of input from Clinical, lack of CPG, lack of SOP and lack of consultation.

The AEAWA again REJECT this kneejerk proposal, which occurs in respect to entirely avoidable situation because of poor recruitment planning and poor workforce planning which has meant Ambulance Officers currently outnumber Paramedics.

Feedback is always welcome on [email protected]
AEAWA Team`

Managers working in Ambulances - 23rd September, 2021

In accordance with our EBA, any manager (whether operational or clinical, on secondment or permanent appointed) seeking to work an on road shift with a Paramedic or Ambulance Officer, needs the prior agreement of the rostered officer. This is part of our EBA, and affords officers protection against potential conflict of interest occurring, in the course of that shift, or in relation to previous and future disciplinary process. Prior to the commencement of the shift, you should have been contacted by rosters to gain your consent. Of course there may well be no issues on many occasions, but if an officers feels uncomfortable through previous managerial interactions, they have the right to refuse and we will support them 100%.

AEAWA Ramping Directive - 9th July, 2021

This morning you would have received an email from the St John WA Ambulance Service Director. This email was sent during a meeting between St John management and the AEAWA regarding their intended ramping strategies. During the course of this meeting, St John WA sent the email to the workforce before any real consultation had taken place, and certainly before the meeting had even concluded. A section of this email states that ‘double up of suitable patients is mandatory’.

This was not discussed in the meeting. As we have previously, we would like to take this opportunity to remind our members that so called ‘multi-patient care’ is not endorsed as routine by the AEAWA, and it is an issue which we remain in dispute over.

The AEAWA object to the use of the term ‘mandatory’ without providing suitable qualification on the following grounds:

  • NO true consultation occurred, and the email was sent before feedback was received.
  • The CEO has on numerous occasions stated to the media that paramedics are not trained or equipped to deal with ramping.
  • The Medical Director has stated ‘ramping poses a significant clinical risk’.
  • The AEAWA believes this constitutes a ‘major change’ to our employment conditions and are more than happy to challenge this through the Fair Work Commission.

Despite this directive, the Patient Flow and Ramping SOP remains the guiding document in relation to ‘multi-patient care’. We would remind our members that suitability (or not) of a specific patient for ‘multi patient care’ is determined, as per the SOP, by a clinical ‘discussion between the ATTENDING OFFICERS’ of both crews. It is NOT a clinical discussion between the HLM/AM as they have played no part in either patient’s clinical care, nor will they play a part in clinical care going forward.

For the benefit of our members, the SOP states that certain patients ‘may not be suitable for multiple patient care’ including:

  • those affected by drugs (and/or) alcohol.
  • those that require one on one care or have complex needs.
  • patients with more complex social or medical issues that still require one on one care, for example contagious illness, potential absconders.
  • patients requiring ‘ongoing cardiac monitoring’.

It is our view that the wording is clear; the SOP indicates that there are a range of patients that are unsuitable for ‘multiple patient care’ including patients requiring ongoing cardiac monitoring.

In relation to ‘ongoing cardiac monitoring’ the Clinical Services intranet site ‘Lessons Learned’
dated 13th January 2021 states: ‘Where available, almost everyone should get an ECG’ [and] ‘Broadly speaking, if your patient falls under any of the Neurological, Respiratory or Circulation CPG, there’s a very good chance that the patient should have at least a 3-lead ECG applied’ [and goes on] ‘In conclusion, in most patients & as a bare minimum, a 3-lead ECG should form a part of standard monitoring & observations.’

The safety of our members and our patients is paramount.

There have been a number of serious clinical events occur on the ramp, so please be mindful of this additional clinical risk when accepting multiple patient care arrangements.
It may be necessary to request an additional CorPuls monitor if requested to undertake multi patient care.

SJA has had ample time (in fact 12 years) to work alongside the Department of Health to understand the most significant question in relation to ramping; who owns the patient?
As always contact an AEAWA committee member should you have any issues.

Kind regards
AEAWA

Spare Officers - 18th June, 2021

Recently we have been contacted by an increasing number of our members who have either been called or texted by the staff deployment team while OFF DUTY. This has resulted in interrupted R&R, interrupted sleep between night shifts, interrupted family time AND can often result in excessive travel time to different depots, when officers feel obliged to make an extra effort to get to the new depot on time.

We would like to remind our members of the following:

  • You are under NO obligation to answer a mobile phone when off duty. You are under NO obligation to read a WORK RELATED text message received outside of
    shift hours
  • In fact, you are under no obligation to own a mobile phone.

The AEAWA believe it is important for the health and wellbeing of our members to be able to peacefully enjoy time off…time for which they are NOT BEING PAID. The organisation has an obligation to adequately recruit, train and retain staff so that shifts are covered. It has a responsibility to have enough ambulances to run the service. It is self-evident that SJA like to rely on a proportion of Spare officers per roster to help fill cracks in the system, but you are under NO obligation to facilitate this mechanism (which is generally only beneficial to SJA) by acknowledging calls or texts while OFF shift.

For example, should an officer receive a text message in advance of their night shift, advising of a change of depot, they can rest assured that they will be completely secure in ONLY checking their phone AFTER arriving at the depot they were originally rostered to, and then using a WORK vehicle / ambulance to travel to the requested destination.

Most insurance companies do not cover the use of a private vehicle to travel BETWEEN work locations, they simply cover the commute TO and FROM work. When signing your registration declaration, it usually asks for private or work related use. Once on duty please ensure you use an AMBULANCE to move to your alternate depot, only AFTER your shift has commenced, and that you RETURN to your rostered depot in time for the end of your original shift.

You are entitled to request a return to your starting depot, in time for the end of your shift. If you choose to answer your phone prior to the start of your shift and are given an instruction to relocate, then you must comply, but you should claim ‘Time and Travel’ to the new depot.

Please note this advice is given without taking anything away from the hard work undertaken by our dedicated rosters colleagues. They do an absolutely AMAZING job given the current circumstances. We simply ask that our LEADERSHIP place less pressure on our rosters colleagues to interrupt downtime, so that adequate resourcing occurs, and our members can enjoy the full extent of their time OFF DUTY.

If you have any questions, please contact us.
AEAWA

48

Committee Advocates

139

Representations in 2021

246

Meetings in 2021

9823

Contacts Made by Members in 2021

Latest News

21 May 2022 in Call Centre News, News, Paramedic News, Transport

The Channel 9 Statement – “there will be no ramping this weekend”.

The Channel 9 Statement – “there will be no ramping this weekend”. It has been brought to our attention that Channel 9 are reporting that a meeting occurred between the St John Executive and Senior Health Department officials late yesterday afternoon. Apparently, what is being stated is that there will…
Read More
26 April 2022 in Call Centre News, News, Paramedic News, Transport

The Cultural Survey is Coming!

Tomorrow, all St John employees and volunteers will receive an email from the CEO containing a link to the 2022 Culture Survey. This email follows a campaign by the AEAWA which sought to encourage St John to continue running regular Culture Surveys.  Our campaign included the running of our own…
Read More

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