Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Triple-0 Protocol Concern for Boaties

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Triple-0 Protocol Concern for Boaties

Article excerpt

IT'S ABOUT time the NSW Ambulance Service's triple-0 operators were taught to use some common sense instead of the 'tick the box' protocols under which they operate.

I, like many other boaties, use the Richmond River on a regular basis and I, like many other boaties, never venture beyond the river itself. Therefore I don't carry, and am not required to carry, a marine radio.

As far as I know there is only one emergency call service and that is triple-0. Where does the Volunteer Coastguard (now called marine rescue I believe) get off saying that they should be called first?

Is it that they need the extra power because they are water-based. After all, they are only a volunteer body, despite the excellent work they do.

Barry Glass, the houseboat owner, did exactly the right thing and should be commended for doing so, not told that he 'should have followed protocol'.

Well done, Barry. I had the need to call triple-0 eight months ago and being an ex-emergency radio operator myself, was able to give all the information to the operator in one clear and concise sentence.

However, this was not good enough and we had to start from the beginning and tick all the boxes until we got to the end (5 minutes later) before an ambulance was despatched.

It is not the Ambulance Service at fault here - the Paramedics are superb - but the triple-0 operators who are trained to ask all the questions parrot fashion before acting.

As I said at the beginning, common sense before protocol.

* IN REPLY to Jamie Brown's Star View (NS, 4/1), which I find 'not so bright': Mr Brown states the ambulance crew needs a clear plan.

I would have thought asking for an ambulance to go to the boat ramp beside the Sailing Club in River Street, Ballina, quiet clear.

I, being the skipper of the boat, also thought it was more important to get the badly bleeding man to shore, rather than call the Coastguard who readily admitted to me this morning it would take 30 to 45 minutes to mobilise their vessel to help with the rescue.

That is a long time to lie bleeding in the water.

As for the code number (must be the secret code) on the yellow triangle at the boat ramp - I personally visited five boat ramps in Ballina today and not one had a yellow triangle with a code number.

Maybe Mr Brown needs to check the facts before writing his 'not so bright' Star View.

Out of order

I REFER to the letter (NS, 30/12) from John Bath, of Ballina, about phone box vandalism.

The public phone box at the corner of Centre Street and Stapleton Avenue in South Casino has been vandalised at least eight times in the last two years, and yet Telstra continues to fix it.

Broken handsets, smashed glass on the road and the adjacent footpath and grass. As far as I know, no one has ever been prosecuted for the offences. …

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