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AEAWA Minutes

AEAWA Minutes for 2024

Manual Handling Sub Committee Minutes from January 26th 2024

Meeting Chaired By
Naomi Powell

Meeting Conducted

Committee Attendees
Callan McClure and Rik Candy.

Committee Apologies
John Thomas, Mike Hardwick, Lee Waller and Dave Higgins

SJA Attendees
Naomi Powell, Joel Moore, Julie Comito, Rebecca Boughton, Ben Mann, Drew Mckibbin, Olivia McCormack, Adele Bromwich, Grant Ledger, Ria Hardy, Monika Manalis, Chelsea Clinton Grace and Nick Loiacono.

Terms of reference
– Accessible on Connect
– Desired objectives of safety committee and responsibility. Accessible on connect. Any info relating to committee will be on teams channel.
– Drew Mckibbin wants SJA Health included for all of organisation inclusion, Naomi Powell and Joel Moore shot this down insisting on focusing on Emergency Stream.

AEAWA have stated numerous times all working groups should focus on staff they effect in order to keep them focused and on task.
– Chelsea Clinton-Grace wished to clarify the name of committee to better inform role of the committee.

Current projects

Slippery Sally Slide Sheet

  • Implemented in Q4 2023, available on all Ambulances and PTVs. All on estock and budgeted. VDOs being trained on use to train country staff. Nil new data comparing injuries post implementation.
  • Naomi Powell wishes to ensure accurate data to evaluate post implementation result. Ben Mann asked if size is an issue, Naomi Powell states nil issues reported.
  • Chelsea Clinton-Grace states current size is ok or can be doubled up if required.
  • A CP raised cost of $399 for box of 50. Requested they be ordered in less tock. Supply will investigate small quantity units.
  • Chelsea Clinton-Grace states slide sheet should be used on every slide.
  • Another CP raised training, Naomi Powell states been trained in CEP and will be included in volunteer education. Chelsea Clinton-Grace reiterated VDOs being trained.

Transfer Belts

  • Commenced trial December 2023 concluding March 2024. Trial in metro and country.
  • Incident reports have identified that injury an officer sustained would have been prevent by transfer belt.
  • Feedback positive to date, IR incident and safety projection enable business case was approved early week commencing 19/02/2024.
  • Supply are currently organising an order. Nil delay expected from warehouse to operations.
  • One per ambulance, will sent out by logistics of as per country estock list. Full rollout expected to commence March/April.
  • Drew Mckibbin raised WPI and IPC, Naomi Powell stated approved as per clinical improvement. Chelsea Clinton-Grace states this equipment has been procured due to injuries from current SOP of using a sheet.
  • Transfer belt has a safe working limit of 159Kg.
  • Chelsea Clinton-Grace stated concern raised by plastic material, states sheet on towel should be placed between plastic and pt to avoid skin damage from plastic.

AEAWA are supportive of any initiative minimising member injuries so long as it is appropriately trained to members such as the slide sheet and transfer belt in CEP Day 3. AEAWA will monitor injury rates among members from both of these initiatives.

Stryker rollout

  • 116 vehicles currently equiped. 24 vehicles remaining. All vehicles will be Stryker equiped by august. 4 additional have been rolled out since JCC.
  • SJWA Executive has approved fleet spares to be Stryker. 24 metro vehicles, 17 metro spares, (41 total).
  • As of 20/02/2024 there are 37 remaining Strykers in metro. AEAWA has reiterated the high priority of this initiative at multiple meetings for over 12 months and will
    continue to do so until Ferno 50E has been entirely replaced.
  • Post metro role out country career locations will be prioritised.
  • Darren Ginnane provides update on Strykers. 5 new builds a month. All MK 6.0 gone in next couple months. All country replacements will be Stryker from get go to reduce transport costs. Darren Ginnane states second hand builds with Stryker will be rolled out quicker than brand new builds to country.
  • St John working with external contractors to increase vehicle production.
  • Carl Vine raised south metro locations being investigated for Stryker concentration. Kelmsoctt has approx 80% Ferno 50E. Naomi Powell states 1 for 1 replacement, but
    when vehicles are damaged or go for maintenance that creates issues.
  • 15 Strykers currently off with crash repairs and routine maintenance. Permanent being prioritised over swap vehicles. Nil visibility of country and PTS vehicles by metro management.

Ferno Transcend

  • Can carry up to 250kg and can go up and down. Will be on both new CPATs and will be interchangeable. Electorally powered and operated by button on ascending and descending. Physically pushed when used as a wheelchair. Battery is Milwaukie and interchangeable with Stryker stretcher.
  • 4x easy glide (red stair chairs) located at JOO, KWI, CEN & KEL being replaced. SWL of transcend is 250kg. Limitation of not being pushed further than metro.
  • Carl Vine raised CPAT training and familiarisation training for CEP or is it Paramedic Intern induction exclusive. Naomi Powell unable to provide definitive answer, CPAT
    training is standard in PI training and it may be reviewed for CEP, nil comment from CPHC representative Nick Loiacono.
  • Joel Moore states original plan is to bring online new CPAT, train a core group by PTOs and PSOs plus EOI of APs for their use. Expand to metro post second vehicle arriving.
    Naomi Powell states training of equipment on early rollout will prioritise key staff. (ORMs, CSPs and HSRs) Joel Moore wishes to have permanent CPAT staffing.

CPAT Update

  • CPAT has completed and passed break testing. Awaiting Engineer repot before being able to get GVM approved by DOT followed by pits for registration. Vehicle back with
    Paull & Warner and power being installed for charging of equipment as well as equipment stowage. Nil timeline yet. Nil DOT sign off. CPAT committee will performed WPI and risk assessment once received.
  • SJA Management applying pressure to PW to deliver. Carl Vine raised tail lift weight sticker. Joel Moore states it’s an sticker error and tail lift manufacturer has confirmed
    it’s got an appropriate SWL for SJA needs. Naomi Powell asked for committee members to volunteer to assist with WPIs and risk assessments.
  • The AEAWA have been working hard across multiple working groups to ensure the proper and prompt introduction of this new vehicle. Due to the long lifespan of these assets AEAWA have from the start reiterated the importance to get this vehicle right.

Upcoming projects.

Patient movement straps

  • RA and WPI commenced Friday 23rd February. To be rolled out April-June post success business case. Item will be rolled out to metro medics and paramedics and country. Same strap as carry canvas.
  • Straps will be stored with transfer belt and carry canvas. Not a high-cost turnover item so Naomi Powell states optimistic about implementation. Approx 6 months of work. Noami Powell again asking for volunteers. Chelsea Clinton-Grace states 2x straps to allow carry canvas to be moved laterally on the floor instead of lifting.
  • Chelsea Clinton-Grace states can be used in conjunction with stair chair to assist.
  • More progress expected by next meeting.

Elk on a shelf

  • SJWA name for ambulances modified to have an ELK onboard.
  • Proposal for ELK equiped vehicles at 3x metropolitan and 2x country stations for April-June of this year. Business case approved awaiting Darren Ginnane for
    assistance with costing.
  • Proposed loss of linen bag, requiring rejigging of layout guide. Trickle charger will be added as a lesson learned from Ambulance Victoria. Trickle charger will help avoid
    failure. Extension cords will be provided. Business case for stability poles, vehicle retrofit and all required changes.
  • This must be trialed due high LTIs in the ORM group. Common cause being pt assessment, Clinical Services working on assessment tool for suitable patients and
    review of layout guide. RA and WPI being reviewed for 2 person operation. Expanding use of equipment being explored as Ambulance Victoria use it for spinal boards and scoop stretchers. SJWA will explore.
  • Nominated station will result in all vehicles being changed. IRs will be monitored to monitor for staff injuries, if they increase trial will be suspended. If injuries reduced SJA will conclude trial early. Currently in early stages of planning.
  • Stations will be selected to better facilitate training. Current stations looking at Metropolitan Southwest due to reduced staff resources. SEC, ROC, MAN from Metro and EBU and BUN from Country, most likely as they have the least officer movement.
  • Drew Mckibbin proposed train the trainer, Naomi Powell shot this down. Insisting on formal SME training. AEAWA are supportive of formal training by subject matter experts to minimise staff injury and increase officer competency of equipment.
  • Area managers will be trained in district for staff support.
  • This project will be looking at existing vehicles. Naomi Powell clarified this will not be involving design of new ambulance. No word of new ambulance design.
  • On site training rather than Belmont will occur in metro and country.
  • Proposed linen be placed in rear draw. AEAWA raised short term storage in middle console but stated long term storage required full review of layout guide with appropriate consultation. AEAWA raised SAAS model of dedicated manual handling trainers separate to clinical education. Naomi Powell states all manual handling training must change.
  • AEAWA will monitor this project closely to ensure all appropriate consultation occurs and officer safety is not compromised. AEAWA will ensure short term concessions for
    trials are not adopted indefinitely.

Manual handling statistics

  • Ben Mann Presenting. States some statistics are alarming but hopefully this will show future changes. Back strain main issue highlighted by Safety.
  • Total Injuries for 2021, 198 officers
  • Total Injuries for 2022, 280 officers
  • Total Injuries for 2023, 304 officers
  • Injuries to date for 2024, 46 officers
  • LTIs are decreasing. Ben Man states slide sheets will help reduce LTIs due to majority being caused by slides.
  • Joel Moore states 200 more people working this time year on year and 7% more jobs. Due to this it’s technically an improvement whilst not being good enough. Joel Moore states by end of year another 200 people working in addition but stated we are just meeting demand.
  • Injury states presented, largest area is carrying people and equipment.
  • Ben Mann states all stats available on request. Current projects targeting areas of concerns.
  • Ben Mann showed committee the OHS dashboard. Only available to safety and management due to raw data no collated or assessed. Naomi Powell states sub committee will get a session on OHS dashboard and states it’s the first version of dashboard and might require improvement.
  • AEAWA believe every officer deserves to come home from work uninjured. It is the opinion of the AEAWA that arguing increasing injuries due to increasing staff is simply unacceptable. The AEAWA will monitor to ensure a downwards trajectory on total injuries is emphasised.


Year in priority

  • CPATs rollout highest priority for SJWA for safety, to provide new equipment for safer bariatric patient handling and operational reliability.
  • Second priority is Stryker rollout. Large workload for fleet and management. Target completion of August for metropolitan rollout.
  • Lifting belt and straps hoped to be completely rolled out by April-June. April-June will be elk trial. SJA will be closely monitoring injury states post elk trial.
  • Drew Mckibbin raised lifting teams, not successful according to Naomi. Clinical Services requested lifting team be reviewed for inclusion in ECP and fall team.
  • SJA want manual handling training and upkeep of training to be informed by working group and statistics.
  • SJA states sub committee needs achievable and smart goals. After an item has been approved the college develop tearing and any short falls require identification and
    feedback to sub committee and include CPHC.
  • Proposal for manual handling trading for CEP 25 due to 24 being full. Drew Mckibbin raised new CPAT and states PTS not satisfied with suitability of new stretcher.
  • SJA raised lack of available commercial options, 1 option. Joel Moore stated companies aren’t interested which limits options short of SJA prototyping their own.
  • AEAWA are supportive of a focused approach on achieving capabilities to reduce injury rates of members and will keep SJA accountable.

NETS Update

  • PCH looking at replacing mansell stretcher, with a Stryker base and power load which will have same controls as current Stryker equipped ambulances. For country it may be skydeck clip deck, looks similar. Reliant on RFDS changing lifter. Will require a handle release on Strykers.
  • Unable to provide images due to commercial in confidence nature of images supplied.
  • AEAWA supportive of plan to standardise to Stryker as it will provide greater confidence amongst members when using equipment.

Wrapping up

  • All attendees shown teams and connect page.
  • Volunteers required for workload of RAs and WPIs. Agendas will be sent out weeks in advance of meetings in future.
  • AEAWA are supportive of short-term modification to layout guide for helmets for ELK trial only. This is to ensure manual handling equipment for officers is prioritised.

Meeting Closed

Next Meeting


AEAWA Transport JCC Minutes from January 19th 2024

Meeting Chaired By
Brody Munyard

Meeting Conducted

Committee Attendees
Mike Hardwick, Lee Waller and Jon Noble.

Committee Apologies
John Thomas and Karen Gerristen

SJA Attendees
Brody Munyard, Tony Fitzgerald, Liane Tuck, Freyja Petursson and Stephanie Freemantle.

St John Agenda Items

Call Distribution
There have been 73,000 patients transported in the previous 12-months and 313 were transported on 12 January 2024 alone. There is lots of competitors in the market for transfers and St John are trying to claw some of these transfers back.

The AEAWA had previously asked for a ‘heat map’ of the calls for Transport, citing that areas such as Lancelin/Jurien Bay have significantly increased the call volume of transport suitable patients over the past 18-months. The AEAWA wanted to see where the transport call volumes are predominantly located in comparison to the locations of the transport fleet.

St John again answered that they will provide the information as they don’t actually map the workload for transport locations and job volume.

Country Transfers EOIs
Members have asked for fairness and transparency regarding allocating crews for country transfers. Some officers are doing 2-3 a week, whilst other are nor being provided the opportunity.

The AEAWA have asked that a database be kept by St John in the interest of ‘sharing the love’ for crews that wish to do these types of country runs.

Initially St John stated this would be difficult to manager and the allocation considers numerous factors such as
• crew start and finishing times
• Stryker stretcher capability
• location of crew
• job planning for crews

St Johns are however happy to further discuss this.

PTS Crews at O’Connor Depot
St John stated that there is a not enough space at this time to locate a PTS crew, especially after the proposal for a Medic crew to be located there is gaining traction. Further reviews will occur shortly.

Closed Vans Data
St John will provide data at the next JCC.

Mentoring for Weekenders
Members who commence employment parttime (Saturday and Sunday roster), take longer to complete their mentoring shifts than those working full time. An issue occurred were some part timers were allowed to work on the weekdays to progress their tutoring time and others were told they are weekend only workers and were denied this.

Surprise surprise, yet another instance was one manager reads the Agreement or a policy and has a complete opposite interpretation than another manager. St John stated this should not have happened, the AEAWA stated we know, but it did, that’s why we are here to discuss it. This is why the AEAWA want to stop this occurring week in week out, by making these managers accountable for their decisions.

New Agenda Items

Baby Blankets
Members are stating they feel pressured to accepting calls where the Baby Blanket is required. St John have been advised by the AEAWA numerous times that this is a direct violation of the manufacturer’s warranty and use of the device.

This is causing numerous delays and stress to those officers pressured into doing the transfer. The AEAWA would like this issue finalised at this Transport JCC.

This has been discussed at the following JCCs without any answer from St John.
1. 4th October 2021,
2. 3rd May 2022,
3. 9th August 2022,
4. 20th February 2023, and
5. 13th September 2023.

Well some great news. Ther Ferno Baby Blanket. DO NOT USE IT. And St Johns have agreed. It still must stay in the vehicle, but you do not use that piece of equipment. Any member who feels pressured to use it, contact the AEAWA immediately.

AmbiCad Response for Overtime/Shift Extension
Many members do not like the process of continually calling comms to state they have to knock off on time. At numerous JCCs the discussion of an AmbiCad function has been discussed with a simple ‘Yes’, ‘No’ response to would you like to do OT.

Members want to know the St John definition of what reasonable overtime is. Dependent on what manager is asked, to what dispatcher is asked, you get multiple answers. Another question is, does St John under the ‘reasonable overtime’ rule take into account accumulated overtime? In essence an hour of overtime on one shift to some may sound reasonable, but if you are required do this on a daily basis, the membership believes it is not.

This has been discussed at the following JCCs without any answer from St John
1. 3rd May 2022, and
2. 9th August 2022.

This is still being reviewed by St John.

Modified 79 Times
Members have been contacting the AEAWA regarding their times being altered, specifically their ‘79’ times. On some occasions the arrival times have been wound back up to an hour. St John gave an undertaking that they would review this and provide an answer on why this was occurring.

This has been discussed at the following JCCs without any answer from St John.
1. 4th October 2021,
2. 9th August 2022, and
3. 20th February 2023.

St John again, will review this matter.

Certification Non-Emergency Transport
The AEAWA brought up numerous times members receiving this qualification. At each discussion St John have stated that employees will get this qualification. The project was given to someone who has left the organisation. The AEAWA would like to know the status of this. Are employees receiving this qualification, and if so, when?

This has been discussed at the following JCCs without any answer from St John.
1. 20th February 2023, and
2. 13th September 2023.

Work in the background is currently occurring and St John do have an appetite to see this qualification awarded to their transport fleet.

CPAT Staffing Pilot
St John added an agenda item for staffing the CPAT vehicle and were looking at staffing the CPAT permanently. The AEAWA would like to know the status of the pilot, and who is eligible to apply for the position. Will an EOI go out to all officers?

This has been discussed at the following JCCs without any answer from St John.
1. 20th February 2023.

The review is still occurring and information will be shared at upcoming JCCs.

Country Transfers
Members approached the AEAWA regarding the allocation of crews to do country transfers. Some officers appear to get 2-3 a week whilst others never get allocated one. Members would like to know what the process is when allocating crews to these calls.

The AEAWA suggested an EOI go out to all officers, get a list of those keen to do them, and were possible divide the transfers as best as you can. It’s not a hard thing to do. St John appeared to like this idea, and they will return to the table at the next JCC to discuss options. Currently, these calls are mainly given to Casuals over full time officers, which is strange as casuals cost more.

This has been discussed at the following JCCs without any answer from St John.
1. 13th September 2023

This again will be looked at.

The Transport 4×4 Roster
Members would like to know if the expression of interest for Ambulance Transport Officers to work the 4 on 4 off roster was on the intranet or was it emailed to all officers? Many are stating that only the chosen few were sent the email, and that not everyone had the fair right to apply for the position.

The fairness of applying for positions is something St John want to achieve. They would like the AEAWA to gain information regarding when these positions are being given to employees without being advertised.

St John will consider the EOI for the 4×4 roster and will provide further updates at upcoming JCCs.

Agenda Items Not Discussed
Vehicle Customisation
Baby Harness and Dual Stretchers
iPads for Casuals
Vehicle Maintenance and Service
ATOs and Priority 3 Jobs
Geographical Cover/Response – Melville and Kelmscott
Established ATOs
Senior ATOs Being Overlooked

Meeting Closed

Next Meeting
April 2024


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