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Paramedics & Ambulance Officers

The AEAWA Paramedic/Ambulance Officer Committee

Dave Bryant 0422 434 435
Blue Shift Bunbury

Rick Candy 0407 399 396
Red Shift South

Fernando Colella 9375 1971
Green Shift North

Damian Condo 9301 2167
Blue Shift North

Paul (Taff) Davies 0422 458 111
Green Shift South

Ed Doran 9381 5335
Green Shift North

Bronwyn Herne 0447 587 984
Community Paramedic Representative

Sarah Hipworth TBA
ROTE North

Justin Ingrey 0438 646 351
Blue Shift East Bunbury

Todd Jones 0439 982 205
Red Shift Busselton

Lindsey MacDougall 0434 222 505
Red Shift North

Aaron Pittaway 0416 778 854
Black Shift South

Kirsty Roberts 0428 850 240
Red Shift South

Chris Smith 9791 4999
Blue Shift Bunbury

Phil Stanaitis 0429 018 849
Green Shift East Bunbury

Ambulance Officer/Paramedic Certified Agreements

Here you will find all of the Certified Agreements related to  Ambulance Officers and Paramedics.

The Ambulance Officer/Paramedic Joint Consultative Committee

Here you will find information related to the JCC meetings.

The Paramedic JCC Meeting Minutes

Paramedic JCC February, 2024

Meeting Chaired By
Joel Moore.

Meeting Conducted
12:30 – 15:30

Committee Attendees
Dave Higgins and Callan McClure.

Committee Apologies
John Thomas, Mike Hardwick, Lee Waller, Conrad Fairhead and Jesse George.

SJA Attendees
Joel Moore, Naomi Powell, Stephanie Wraight, Karen Stewart, Simone Hughes, Clay McCarthy, Grant Ledger, Drew Mckibbin, Carly Rees, Liane Tuck, and Stephanie Freemantle

St John Agenda Items

Metropolitan Property Update
– St John is currently acquiring or working to acquire land in areas highlighted by population heat maps as in demand.
– Sites in Baldivis and Southern River are of particular priority to SJA
– SJA have identified Anketell, Southern River and Bibra Lake as future locations
– SJA investigating stations with potential capacity by moving PTS and EHS out to expand Metro Ambulance resources.
– Locations being reviewed for security gate and CCTV instillation.

Country BCP Levels
– SJA stated Northwest BCP currently at Level 3 all other regions at “Business as Usual” (BAU)
– SJA stated they are now able to increased and decreased BCP in response to local factors such as call volume and volunteer numbers.
– The AEAWA are concerned with SJA using a Business continuity Plan which is designed for response to crisis as a way to manage low volunteers numbers and negligent investment in Country Ambulance.

Salary Sacrifice Provider Update
– St John will begin the process of creating a tender for potential salary sacrifice providers to compete with Maxxia.
– This process has been long and drawn out and SJAs reason has been due to investigating “contractual issues”.
– Employees “may” see an announcement soon

Metro Ambulance – General Updates
– 5 New Direct entry schools this year, each with 20 paramedics
– Case volume was up in December, still managed to increase our SBC to meet the demand.
– Yearly average Stand by capacity is 38.4% and case volume is currently tracking higher tan tis time last year.
– P1 performance – 86%
– P2 performance – 79%
– P3 performance – 80%

Country Ambulance – General Updates
– Finalising recent country recruitment
– SJA meeting with DOH to discuss alternative initiatives for some locations including additional staff.
– Harvey and Margaret River are now BAU as of end of February.

Ramping & Shift Extension – General Updates
– SJAs main driver for the change is the Fatigue Prevention Officers, they expect to continue to see it trending downwards as the FPOs become more experienced.
– 224 – stable over last month, 250 hours a week
– 4×4 – increasing downward trend, 100 hours a week
– Night shift – since December, dropped by 50 hours a week.

Ambulance Officer / Paramedic Safety – General Updates
– Priority is getting CPAT replacement operational.
– Professing business case of “Elk on a Shelf”, equipping ambulances with ELKs to improve manual handling capabilities. Currently no timeline on Elk.
– Lifting belts signed off by BBH.

Radio Network
– SJA ran a workshop with consultancy, operations, fleet and workshops
– SJA fine tuning documentation to put to market approx May/June.
– SJA will be evaluating by Q3.

Roster Project
– More Gaps identified by SJA, they will increase spending and have a working product by March 3.

Leave Department
– Throughout December there was 570 requests, and SJA are now looking at 270 requests.
– Significant growth in leave requests per employee.
– 2 new staff starting in the next 2 weeks which will assist in turnaround of time frames moving forward.

Stryker Rollout
– Currently 41 Ferno 50E equipped vehicles remaining in the metro region. 24 permanent vehicles and 17 metro spare/workshop vehicles used to facilitate swaps for regular servicing.
– Priority will be permanent station vehicles followed by workshop fleet.
– Target for complete Stryker fleet by August this year dependant on vehicle crashs.
– AEAWA are following this issue closely after 12 months of pressure. SJA reminded SJA a timeline of completion by 2023 was previously set and will hold the organisation accountable for an August timeline.

Special Leave Operation
– SJA clarified that special leave works on a number of positions for day shift and night shift with day vans being included in the shift being worked by their respective colours. In effect late day van Special leave is counted as a night shift spot.
– AEAWA suggested they be separate, SJA will take on board.

Spare Officers
– AEAWA raised members receiving late notice notifications of change of start time and station location. AEAWA stated contacting someone at 1600 to tell them they’re now a 1900 is unacceptable and

Intranet Site Performance
– SJA raised the performance of the connect intranet site. Particularly the multiple times it requires to reload in order to be used.
– SJA were unaware of this and stated no an issue.
– AEAWA loaded connect and it reloaded 5 times before it could be used.
– SJA will investigate.

Meeting Closed

Next Meeting

Paramedic JCC July, 2023

Meeting Chaired by
Natalie Adams

Meeting commenced
10:30-12:30 on July 17th, 2023

Committee Attendee’s
Michael Hardwick, Conrad Fairhead, Kirsty Roberts, Jon Flockton, Jesse George and Justin Ingey.

Committee Apologies
John Thomas, Lee Waller and Tania Hill.

SJA Attendees
Brendon Brodie-Hall, Joe Cuthbertson, Justin Fonte, Karen Stewart, Joel Moore, Naomi Powell, David Cutler, Natalie Adams, Florentina Min and Stephanie Freemantle.

St John Opening Statement

Metropolitan Ambulance General Updates
BCP level within the organisation are set at level 2, this is due to current staffing levels. The workload is steadily increasing along with the call cycle times. Currently 82% of the P1 target is being achieved and the standby capacity is averaged at 30%. The current LAR model is improving P3 times. The AEAWA had asked when the LAR crews are going to a 2/2/4 roster, to which the response from St John was this is currently happening with a designated RFDS crew.

Country Ambulance General Updates
The recent country assessment centers have closed which seen 50 applicants for the advertised 31 country positions and the bulk of those officers applying for the three most sort after areas; Esperance, Margaret River and Busselton. The successful officers will commence on or before the 31st December 2023.

There will be a further assessment center opening around November 2023 for other future country positions. St John acknowledged that the Christmas roster is an issue with many officers is the country accessing annual leave over this period. This creates an issue in metro as many officers vacate the metropolitan roster to relive in the country locations. St John will oversee the rostering in the regional areas to potentially limit this impact.

Ramping and Shift Extensions General Updates
The recent figures show a total of 4,700 ramping hours in June, 2023 and St John have implemented a full HLM roster to manage this ramping and takeover crews. There was an increase of 80 hours for night shift extensions, and day shift extensions have stayed the same. St John also reiterated that the AO/AO crews are not included in the establishment figures.

Ambulance Officer/Paramedic Safety General Updates
St John have stated there has been a reduction in lost time injuries and that all AMs/HLMs and ORMs have undertaken training in manual handling to provide a resource for operational crews and educational support. The CPAT lifting crew staffed by PTS with additional devices will be placed on a ‘stand-alone’ roster. St John stated that the majority of back up calls for lifts occur between 09:00-21:00. After discussion St John stated this resource should be implemented ASAP.

Slide sheets and the lifting belt are also to be introduced immediately and the training will occur during CEP. Currently two thirds of all ambulances have been fitted out with the Strykers and the complete rollout is still on schedule for completion at the end of this year (2023).

Rostering General Updates
St John identified that they require more resourcing between 18:00 to midnight (surprise, surprise) and that there have been no decisions made on any metro rostering pattern changes. St John have asked for rostering ideas from the AEAWA for both metro and country locations as at this point, they have been unable to find a solution for this problem. The AEAWA reiterated that they have sent numerous rostering ideas to St John so a generalised email search would find numerous solutions to this issue, which the AEAWA would be more than happy to discuss.

Discussions occurred around staggered start times and the blanket St John plan (introduced in 2021) for any changes in altering rostered start and finish times of the 2/2/4 or 4×4 roster. The AEAWA stated there has to be some recognition by St John that the 2/2/4 roster has to be fully resourced.

New locations were also discussed (Fitzroy Crossing, Derby and Rottnest Island) and added resources such as Extended Care Paramedics into certain locations. The DIDO and FIFO rosters would be required in order to staff some of these locations and some mining companies have agreed to fly officers both in and out of certain areas to assist in staffing these areas.

There was a St John proposal for the current Community Paramedic roster to change to 8/6 and potentially a 4×4 back-to-back roster to allow officers downtime. There is also a need for CPs to take on a more clinical roll, hence why there have been numerous training officer positions advertised in some of these areas.

Agenda Items

Employee Commendations
Members have contacted the AEAWA over commendations either taking months to be sent out, or not even being sent at all. This is not good for morale considering complaints are handed to the crew almost immediately. Is there a process in place that could speed these up?

St John stated that the process being reviewed as the commendations are currently being managed manually which is time consuming. The AEAWA believe complaints are dealt with rapidly by St John and commendations to be prioritised.

The Protective Equipment Trial
Members have contacted the AEAWA not happy about St John entering the Body Cam Trial. Many members believe this will be used by ER to punish officers for wrong doings rather than to limit the rates of occupational violence.

Some of the questions asked were.
Can we refuse to wear them?
How are the officers chosen for the trial?
Will they be managers?

St John said that no decisions have been made yet and that there will be an expression of interest to be a part of the trial.

Workers Compensation Issues
Members have contacted the AEAWA as they have been off work for some time and awaiting Alianz the insurer to accept their workers compensation claim. Some officers have been off for months with no contact from Alianz. Members are not even being contacted by St John about the status of their claim. Can the St John advocate more for their employees during this process? At the moment many employees are feeling abandoned.

There was formal recognition that this is an accurate assessment and because of depleted resources there has been a void in continuity of care for individuals. Employee Relations have addressed this and believe employees are now being contacted and informed. The AEAWA would like any officer who has not been contacted to contact the Association for assistance.

Uniform Working Group Update
The AEAWA would like to know the status of this working group, as nothing appears to be happening. What is the status of this group and when are the meetings to be held?

St John responded by saying the uniforms have gone out to tender and that Karen Stewart may lead the group moving forward.

Rosters Asking Employees Booking Off the Reasons Why
Members contacted multiple delegates recently over a new booking off procedure placed by St John with zero consultation. Members are being questioned and advised by rosters that they now have to record the actual reason and illness. Why have St John introduced this?

St John stated that they are trying to establish a pattern of behaviour to facilitate personal leave cover eg. Respiratory illness, gastro, fatigue and implement measures to prevent further book offs. They re-iterated that this is a “welfare” issue and nothing more.

The AEAWA were advised that a process needs to be standardised across rosters and SOC and are concerned with St John tracking trends in individual officers, which could be used as a punitive tool. The AEAWA reinforced that employees are under No obligation to give specifics on book offs.

Tutor/Student Overtime Capabilities
Is there a SJA policy in regard to overtime between Tutor/Student. There are numerous inconsistencies with OT, depending on who you ask some officers are being permitted or denied the extra shift. This causes confusion and is reducing night shift capabilities.

The AEAWA have continually stated that any “probationary” AO/Intern should be a resource that is drawn down to cover Pandemics/Natural Disasters/Unplanned Leave due to their competencies in manual handling/equipment/medications/procedures and policies.

St John articulated the current SOP states probationary AO’s cannot work overtime. The AEAWA disagreed with this interpretation and stated that the organisation is not supporting officers who are under resourced on night shifts. St John continued to elaborate that it was a clinical and psychological risk if crews could not support each other after a horrific event if they were not continually rostered together (8-week Tutor/Student).

The AEAWA again stated that this was potentially a resource that could be utilised for a positive outcome. The was some discussion and concern that management were deliberately undermining an opportunity for providing the community a clinical response.

The AEAWA advised St John, that although they were denying AO’s an opportunity to work overtime with a Paramedic, Metropolitan Operations were comfortable rostering AO pairing on overtime, which effectively debunked St Johns response that AO’s need time to study andnot be fatigued and should not be permitted to work with previous Tutors.

Meeting Closed
Many of the agenda items were not discussed as the meeting concluded and the AEAWA will write to St John to have these items responded to.

Next Meeting

Paramedic JCC August, 2022

Meeting commenced
09:30-11:30 on August 3rd, 2022

Committee Attendee’s
John Thomas and Lee Waller

Committee Apologies
Mike Hardwick, Dave Higgins and Conrad Fairhead.

SJA Attendees
Joe Cuthbertson, Rene Anderson, Karren Stewart, Joel Moore and Justin Fonte.

Opening Statement

Metro BCP Level
SJA commenced with stating that at the moment the organisation sits at BCP level 3 and all managerial roles such as Clinical/AMs/HLMs/ORMs have been working on road. Basically, if an individual in these roles hold an AHPRA paramedic registration, they have been utilised to work on road until the limited numbers of staffing levels is resolved.

Country BCP Level
Esperance and Newman are currently at BCP level 4; whilst Broome and the Wheatbelt remain at BCP level 3 along with the Southwest and Kalgoorlie (which is expected to drop to BCP level 2 shortly).

Call Volume Above Expectations
Currently the workload has increased by 7.5% which is above the estimates SJA had determined, this coupled with ramping well within excess of 5,000 hours is putting plenty of pressure on standby capacity which currently sits at 26%.

Low Urgency Transport Vehicle in Geraldton
This has been placed in the region to free up paramedic response to the community as paramedics were generally out doing low priority calls when emergency calls came in. The success of this ‘pilot’ will be tabled at future JCC meetings.

Regional Ramping
WACHS and SJA (Simon Hughes) have been working together to reduce ramping in country regions. These meeting have just commenced but information about these meetings will be sent out once available.

Difficulty in Filling Country Locations
Permanency/Postings/ or Country Relief vacancies have been difficult to fill recently. Members would have noticed that vacancies placed on the intranet are often re-advertised numerous times, and in some cases have gone to AP1’s and even AO’s in Bunbury.

Discussions with SJA will commence on the ability to attract officers to hard to fill locations. The AEAWA are advocates for role incentives in order to attract officers to these locations. SJA would like to meet later to discuss the possibility for these positions to be filled with officers on a ‘drive in drive out’ or ‘fly in fly out’ roster. To date there is no firm plan and ideas have been sent through to the Directors in order to commence further discussions.

Winter Planning
SJA have stated that this Winter could be difficult with an upwards ramping trend and potential COVID-19 spikes and also the normal winter respiratory issues. The focus is on having resources to meet the demand. SJA are currently reviewing a low acuity response model in order to free paramedics up for emergency calls. More information to come soon.

Trends in ramping are increasing, however shift extensions across the fleet have in fact decreased. SJA stated the 224 shift extensions on the day shift were down from this time last year (305 hours to 240 hours); 224 shift extensions on the night shift were down from this time last year (115 hours to 100 hours), and the 4×4 day vehicles were about the same (190 hours per week).

Safety Update
Due to COVID-19 many of the planned security updates have either had delays or have ceased completely. Issues with computer chips for CCTV have been detrimentally impacted. Long delays are expected. Merriwa Depot is the next to be secured due to multiple security issues at the station.

The Recruitment Process
As most would be aware issues with the recruitment process seen the formation of a Recruitment Committee during the recent Paramedic/Ambulance Officers EBA negotiations. A draft document around the new processes would be circulated and feedback provided from the AEAWA. More information to follow soon.

Action Items

The CPAT Vehicle
Volks Wagon and the engineers are reviewing the vehicle specs and changes will be requited to be signed off by the Department of Transport. There have been lengthy delays. The Working Group has been in a hiatus for some time due to COVID delays. SJA are to re-open a new Working Group, and anyone on the previous group can reapply to the new one.

Stryker Stretcher Update
Currently there are 38 Ambulances with Stryker’s on board, every depot has at least one stretcher while a total of 9 depots have two. There has been some confusion around the retro fitting of the Stryker’s. Some have been told these are only placed into new builds, when some depots have had them fitted into existing vehicles and some brand-new vehicles which are supposed to be fitted with the Stryker’s have had Ferno’s placed in them.

Further updates on the rollouts will be made available to officers shortly, however delays have been occurring and Mercedes have stated they are having issues accessing new vehicles.

Due to high workloads and limited staffing (that right situation normal) discussions occurred in relation to the commencement of CEP. Basically, the organisation would like to delay the program until more staffing arrive. There would be an issue trying to facilitate CEP in the current environment. More information to follow soon.

Low Staffing Levels
A discussion took place around SJA depleting 224 resources. Basically, current practice seems to be move staff off the night shifts to work on these Demand Rosters (day times) and back fill the 224 nights with overtime; not as many are taking this up as expected. The AEAWA stated that all 224 positions should be filled then offer the overtime to fill the day shifts, there would be more takers!

Volunteer Fatigue Monitoring
Officers in the country have stated they often come to work and the volunteer they are working with have come of a volunteer night shift or have been working extensively before shift commencement. Its difficult for those officers to ascertain if their officer is fatigued. SJA also stated it is difficult to monitor and currently there is some work in the background regarding fatigue monitoring across the organisation.

The AEAWA would like to advise all members that if they feel unsafe due to your off-sider being fatigue they should raise this with management and then contact the AEAWA for further assistance.

Single Officer Response
On many occasions’ officers in the country, who can not get a volunteer partner have often attend the call by themselves with assistance from another agency, RFDS/WAPOL/Nurses etc. The AEAWA would like to advise members that these external employees more than likely NOT trained or authorised to use our equipment and any issue that eventuates from this type of response may create further complications. For further information please contact an AEAWA delegate.

Recurrent Closures of Mandurah Depot
On many occasions’ there are no crews or just one crew in the Mandurah area, a location of more than 100,000 people. This lack of resourcing places pressures on the surrounding fleet (Dawesville/Pinjarra/Secret Harbor etc). SJA were asked why this is constantly occurring and what is the plan to fix it.

Basically, it’s due to officers in that depot are in country positions or other secondments and have not been back filled. There are few officers that live in that area so it is often difficult to fill as employees would need to travel long distances to work there, and this basically goes against the fatigue monitoring. Further discussions will take place on how to get officers to work in that location will occur.

WAPOL Declining Jobs
Lately as WAPOL appear to be extremely busy too, crews have been advised by SOC managers that there will be no Police assistance due to no crews available. Sometimes crews are stating they are feeling pushed to respond to calls that are flagged with no assistance.

This is a Safety Issue and if crews feel unsafe, they are to only enter violent or flagged scenes once it had been deemed safe by WAPOL, there delay is not the AEAWA’s concern, your safety is. SJA are in agreeance and have also suggested contacting the DM or CSP and advising them that the Police need to attend.

SJA sent out an email in February to all Senior SOC managers advising them that crew safety is paramount and that crews should not be pushed to respond to these types of scenes.

Support Person Being Denied
Some members have advised the AEAWA that they have been initially denied a Support Person or been told they do not require one for this meeting. On some occasions they have been told that if they bring a Support Person to the meeting this will automatically escalate the issue. This is not the case, a Support Person or AEAWA Delegate are there to support you. This is to ensure that your rights are protected. Many of these simple ‘chats’ come back at a later date as a file note, and it is advisable that if you are being spoken to regarding an issue at work you are well within your rights to be supported.

SJA have stated they would always offer a Support Person whenever the employee requests one, and in most cases, it is offered before the meeting commences.

Paramedics Declined OT as RASOs are Working at the Location
This is becoming less of an occurrence, however there are still reports of paramedics calling in for OT and being denied, only to find out that a RASO was rostered in the position. SJA have stated that Paramedic/Ambulance Officer overtime is the first preference and any time this process is not being followed SJA would like to know times, dates, location and who denied the overtime.

Priority 3’s Do We or Don’t We!
An email was sent out stating that Paramedic crews are not doing P3 calls. This created some confusion across shifts with some following the email and other not following it. At the meeting that email was not known about, it was an email sent to SOC and that crews are to be dispatched when required for low priority calls. Obviously with the planned move of PTS being in the SOC this should eliminate many of these ‘take home’ P3s.

Students Failing Transition or Intermediate
A clear direction was requested from the College as there is a lot of confusion around relating to the failing of either the Transition or Intermediate courses. It appears that some students have been told different information, some believe they have a chance to resit the school, whilst others have been provided no such opportunity. We understand circumstances are different, but this seems widespread across multiple schools.

SJA do understand that it is dependent on what school was failed, student attitude and marks in other areas etc. But will chat to the college in order to eliminate future confusion and perhaps produce a document so that the student know from Day One would happen if they fail.

Increased Staffing Levels
SJA have stated there will be an extra 60 Direct Entrants in the next three upcoming Schools (August through to October) and 70 students in the new year. There is a preference to look for Direct Entrants, however with so many other Ambulance Services looking for the same individuals, this is harder to achieve.

Next Meeting

Paramedic JCC May, 2022

Meeting commenced
10:00-14:00 on May 4th, 2022

Committee Attendee’s
John Thomas and Lee Waller

Committee Apologies
Mike Hardwick, Dave Higgins, Donelle Carver and Conrad Fairhead.

SJA Attendees
Joe Cuthbertson, Karren Stewart, Kathryn Smith, Joel Moore and Natalie Braxton.

Opening Statement
SJA commenced with stating that significant progress had been done regarding the Recruitment Committee (aka progression). And a brief overview of organisational statics was discussed. SJA provided the following.

  • 510 hours of ramping last month (April 2022) up 100 hours from this time last year.
  • Fit to sit patients have increased by 38%.
  • Multi-patient take overs have increased by 30%.
  • The ETOCH Pilot has had a significant impact in reducing shift extensions.
  • This Pilot is to end soon, and a Report will be presented to ascertain if it should continue.
  • 224 vehicles are doing approximately 185 hours p/w of shift extensions up 100 hours from this time last year.
  • 4×4 vehicles are doing approximately 150 hours p/w of shift extensions up 30 hours from this time last year.

Paramedic Safety
SJA commenced by stating there have been 755 officers who have attended and completed the Violence and Aggression Training Programme during CEP. This is evident by the increases in reportable near misses and actual cases now being reported. This is due to SJA believing that staff are now far more likely to report these instances. SJA went onto reiterate to all staff the importance of reporting instances of violence towards staff.

Safer Depots
Property are reviewing certain locations to ascertain the levels of safety for personnel. Currently Merriwa depot (which have reported an increase in near misses over the past few years) is the current priority.

The AEAWA would like to state if you feel your working location is unsafe in anyway they should list the reasons why to [email protected] and your committee will ensure it is reviewed by the organisation.

The Corpuls
Under instruction of the Deputy President of Fair Work discussions were to take place over the data capture of audio recordings held by SJA. The AEAWA have long thought that this would be used as a disciplinary tool by the organisation and not a training one. Feedback in relation to the internal Corpuls document will be discussed at another meeting.

Medication Checks
A small group of officers were wanted to review the process around checks. There were no nominations so this item will be placed back into the Paramedic JCC.

Country Housing
Many officers have approached the AEAWA expressing disappointment over finding housing whilst on country postings. SJA have admitted they are finding suitable housing in the location either extremely expensive or non-existent. This is unlikely to change any time soon. SJA are committed to reviewing more options.

ANY member who finds themselves with this issue should contact the AEAWA so that we can assist you through this process.

Stryker Stretcher Rollout
Currently every depot in the metropolitan area has at least one Stryker, over the coming months this is expected to grow to two. There are also three more Stryker’s to be fitted this week. The rollout has been a bit slower in Country regions as RFDS and NETS have had teething issues with the joining of their equipment onto ours. NETS and RFDS are currently addressing this problem. Most of the staff have been trained in the Stryker, and from this point that training will fall back to the College.

More PTS vehicles to enter the fleet
SJA have increased the Transport fleet, meaning that there should be fewer instances of Ambulance Transport Officers requiring to work out of Ambulances. This will impact the number of vehicles available for ambulance crews utilise.

The AEAWA would like to hear from our Transport Members if there are any instances were crews cannot respond to calls due to the vehicle they would normally respond in has been allocated to a Transport crew. 

Portable Radios
There appears to be a move to hasten the implementation of the portable radios. SJA wanted a discussion with the AEAWA at today’s meeting to occur.

The AEAWA reiterated that due to almost 30% of our SOC colleagues on the radio receiving Acoustic Shock Incidents, we have no real appetite to discuss this topic until the entire radio network has been upgraded and has been declared safe for us to use. Our SOC members have been instructed by SJA that the system has NOT been fixed, therefore a directive has been given to not use headsets whilst on radio. We feel this is a safety issue that needs rectifying before discussions around the portable radios occur.

The Uniform Committee
This project has been implemented by the Procurement Team and a working group has been established. More information will be provided soon.

Representing the AEAWA will be Tania Hill and Jesse George. Their Proxies will be Lee Waller and Mike Hardwick. The AEAWA have chosen proxies as many meetings occur on shift and delegates (due to workload) are rarely released. Proxies ensure the meetings continue and the completion of the process doesn’t drag on.

New Demand Vehicles
The AEAWA questioned the number of demand vehicles is over the agreed total that was discussed at the Fair Work Commission. Questions were asked around who decides who gets a go on these vehicles? Does the list sit at rosters? Is there Manager Involvement? What is the process?

SJA stated that many variables are used, yes it does sit with rosters, it is a list that is ultimately used. The AEAWA stated there were 24 224 vehicles not filled, do we have a list for those? SJA did state that 224 vacancies will be filled first. We find it strange when 6 224 vehicles are closed but 10 Demand Trucks get filled. The AEAWA spoke about cases of individuals who have been on the Demand Vehicle roster list for 12-months and have never been placed on it. We would like more transparency around this.

Working with Children Checks
The feedback from the Department of Communities is that Paramedics, as they only enter and leave the hospitals in a relatively short time span (obviously no one has explained ramping to them) do not require these checks. SJA are aligning with those recommendations with the box we check under our AHPRA registration (reportable instances) as being sufficient evidence. The comment was made that SJA should strive to be over and above the legislation.

LMS Courses
Basically there is no time to complete these courses on shift, and no safe ergonomically assigned area to do them in. The AEAWA are not opposed to our members learning, and improving their knowledge base, we just acknowledge the obvious. If there is no time at work, it is done at work (and we are taken of the road to do it) or in our own time (if the officer agrees to it and overtime rates are paid). SJA appear to not want to entertain the OT idea.

Currently there has been the interest of SJA during the Recruitment Process meetings to have officers complete the LMS Training Packages in order to gain more points during the progression stages. We believe this is the start of doing these training packages in your own time with no payments for doing so.

COVID Absenteeism
Current data shows 148 COVID related personnel have been off in the previous 7 days which is why the rise in the BCP has occurred as this affects cycle times.

Next Meeting

Paramedic JCC December, 2021

Meeting Date
13:00-15:20 on December 21, 2021

Committee Attendee’s
John Thomas, Lee Waller and Dave Abbott

Committee Apologies
Donelle Carver and Dave Higgins

Incidents of violence and aggression
A committee is to be formed to combat incidents of violence and aggression directed towards ambulance personnel. This training will be provided by peers and external resources. The AEAWA responded in regard to the previous meetings as the OSH representative that he believed SJA and the parties had reached a position where external providers were sourced to provide de-escalation techniques. This was advised by SJA that this was not the case and that the intention was to ‘train’ peers to deliver the program. The AEAWA are supportive of de-escalation training however, the AEAWA will not accept our members who get assaulted being held accountable for the actions of a violent patient or bystander, nor will we support an initiative in which SJA can ‘hang out’ the crew for being assaulted.

We are the only state in Australia that hasn’t had training in de-escalation techniques. The AEAWA reminded SJA that we are the ONLY service in Australia that has NOT provided Professional Violence and Aggression training to employees.

SJA employing yet another manager
Appointment of the CP Manager. SJA have felt the need to employ another manager for this group. SJA were made aware that in accordance with the Report on Government Services SJA are the most heavily managed ambulance service, these Government statistics were from 2 years ago (with 65% of employed staff being on road or in SOC). That was before the new senior management appointments. SJA believe they require more managers to make the business run appropriately. The AEAWA strongly stated that more ‘on road’ and in ‘SOC’ resources are required.  In essence what will managers do for the community of Western Australia who are waiting 4 hours for an ambulance?

More Country Paramedics
WACHS wanting more paramedics in the country regions. At this stage discussions between SJA and WACHS are occurring on where these resources should go and how many are required. Difficulty is WACHS want to fund these positions for two years, were once resources are placed into an area both SJA and the AEAWA want them to remain there. At this stage it looks like a mixture of paramedics, community paramedics or even PTOs. The AEAWA will seek further discussions with WACHS regarding these resources.

More Managers
SJA wanted to outline their new management structure. This recruitment of greater numbers of managers is for SJA to identify ‘inefficiencies’. This was met with an unfavourable response, SJA appear to be able to put management positions together extremely quickly, but never seem to boost the employees in green.

Hospital Liaison Managers
Hospital Liaison Managers are being supported and SJA believe that these positions are making a difference. The AEAWA do not agree with this statement. Our members believe that ramping is getting worse, and that the role CAN NOT reduce these issues. It is a wider health systemic issue.

Taking patients for x-rays whilst ramped 
Whilst on the ramp ambulance crews are basically becoming hospital workers; taking patients for x-rays and other testing areas within the hospitals. The AEAWA believe that this is a hospitals job, taking patients through the hospital system IS NOT and ambulance role, there are no policies on what to do, it has not been ergonomically assessed and what happens if the patient deteriorates. If a patient goes into these procedures, WE ARE NOT IN WITH THEM! How do we do observations and how do we assess the patient, who is responsible when the patient deteriorates.

Single Officers tasked to be a ramping officer
SJA is tasking single employees to become solo ramping paramedics. The AEAWA is amazed SJA is allowing this to happen. Patients are not being admitted into the hospital as it is too busy and the AMA believe taking care of multiple patients during these times presents significant clinical risk, however SJA believe that risk can just simply be placed onto single officers.

The AEAWA will not and never will support a single officer being on the ramp as this goes against all current policies written by the organisation. The clinical risk is too high.

Stryker Stretcher Update
LMS training has been in place for the current Ferno F50 stretchers which most staff have completed. There is a purchase order for 83 Stryker stretchers which will be arriving in 3 months and more will follow, The rollout will be initially for ‘new builds’ only as workshops require time to refit the current
vehicles. The training will commence shortly.

Duty Manager CAD Updates
Duty Manager Sending Out Information on CAD Regarding No Back Ups. SJA to review.

Pre Shift Checks
The AEAWA have asked SJA for the ‘minimum requirement for shift start’ for years as our members have come to work 15mins early to check vehicles so they could be available for 07:00 jobs and at no cost. Management were advised that officer’s shifts commence at certain times 0700 & 1800 and then vehicle checks, drug reconciliation etc. take place. Also if crews are dispatched without opportunity to check vehicles who is responsible for failed defibrillation or missing equipment etc. As SJA appear extremely unsupportive to the membership, the committee and its members now feel that this good will has ended. SJA advised the minimum a crew should be doing is the drug check, and a defibrillation check on the Corpuls3 to ensure monitor is operational. It was estimated by SJA that this check should take 4-5minutes.  We have asked SJA to provide that detail in writing.

Xmas cancellation of shift party’s and hampers
This was the CEO’s decision and all Directors stood by it. AEAWA made it VERY clear that this was a very poor decision and has had a major negative impact on moral State wide amongst all operational Staff. This decision was made worse with the announcement of a Xmas function for “Friends of SJA” plus all Directors received Xmas hampers.

Next Meeting

Paramedic/Ambulance Officer Surveys

2024-2026 Ambulance Officer/Paramedic EBA Survey (Closed)

Survey Status – Closed
Survey Data Collected – 30/12/2023- 13/01/2024
Number of Participants – 710
Survey Results – Click here for the demographics and here for the results.

The Culture Survey (Closed)

Survey Status – Closed
Survey Data Collected – 11/11/2021 – 29/11/2021
Number of Participants – 486
Survey Results – Click here.

The SJA Proposed 4x4 Survey (Closed)

Survey Status – Closed
Data Collected – 01/08/2021 – 16/09/2021
Number of Participants – 411
Survey Results – Click here.

Metropolitan Management Model Survey (Closed)

Survey Status – Closed
Survey Data Collected – 01/08/2021 – 16/09/2021
Number of Participants – 373
Survey Results – Click here.

South West Pilot Survey (Closed)

Survey Status – Closed
Survey Data Collected – 11/04/2020 – 13/11/2020
Number of Participants – 75
Survey Results – Click here.

Ambulance Officer/Paramedic News

News articles and media reports relating to your employment will be situated here. If you find articles you think should go up here please email the link to the committee ([email protected]).

NewsParamedic News

SOPR-1004 – Driving Procedures and Standards (Emergency)

Members, You would have received an email today from the Chief Emergency Officer titled ‘Operational and Safety Improvement Update’ announcing the introduction of two new SOPs related to Driving Procedures and Standards. It is important to note that while St John did consult with employee representative groups, our feedback on…
Lee Waller
16 May 2024
NewsParamedic News

Filling Permanent Positions – O’Connor 43/44

Members, Recently the AEAWA executive wrote to St John reminding them of their obligations under Clause 30.6 Introduction of 27/47 Vehicles to create and fill new permanent allocated positions where a vehicle has been rostered for greater than 12 months. St John have today confirmed OCN43 and OCN44 positions will…
Lee Waller
17 April 2024
NewsParamedic News

Paramedic EBA Update

AP/AO Members, The EBA negotiation team met briefly with St John this morning, primarily to clarify the intent and proposed operation of some AEAWA claims so that St John can assess and cost. St John also provided an update on the NW Claims, and presented a new claim in relation…
Lee Waller
15 April 2024

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Contact us and become an AEA Committee Member.