Paramedic slams Chooka case ambos review

Updated November 6 2012 - 12:29pm, first published April 17 2009 - 12:55am

THE death of a young footballer at Maryborough who waited 18 minutes for an ambulance to travel 200 metres has made little difference to Ambulance Victoria.It has admitted that the Maryborough ambulance station will continue to be unmanned at times.Ambulance Victoria executive general manager, regional operations for western Victoria Greg Leach said yesterday fatigue breaks would continue, leaving the station without staff.“It’s been like that many years and will be like that for some time,” he said.Two days ago Ambulance Victoria admitted after a review that it should have got help earlier to Carl “Chooka” Lawrence, 24, when he collapsed during a footy practice match on April 4.The Maryborough ambulance station, two blocks away from Princes Park where he collapsed, was unmanned as a crew was on a fatigue break after a busy night.The review said the delay was caused by “a system breakdown”.Maryborough station, previously managed by both Ballarat and Bendigo, will soon only be managed by Bendigo as a result of the review, which Mr Leach said would remove the potential for a similar system breakdown.Yesterday a paramedic said Ambulance Victoria was “glossing over” the situation.The paramedic said Maryborough was regularly unmanned, which was “really scary.”“It may have been that he could not have been saved, but if it was a simple cardiac arrest, what he needed was defibrillation, which was sitting 200 metres away.”

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