Risk as ambulance access denied

By Nino Bucci
Updated November 6 2012 - 2:09pm, first published November 20 2009 - 12:13am

PARAMEDICS have revealed that lives are being put at risk because some of Bendigo’s busiest buildings cannot be accessed by ambulance.The revelation comes only days after paramedics had to carry their equipment from an ambulance to attend a car crash in the Bendigo Marketplace undercover car park.A 16-year-old girl had to be taken to hospital.Ambulance Victoria senior communications officer Malcolm said paramedics could not access the Coles, Marketplace and Woolworths undercover car parks and Hargreaves Street multi-storey car park.“It is an accident waiting to happen,” Mr Zadow said.“If there’s an incident in these areas it’s got to be at least an extra 10 to 15 minutes to get there, depending on how much equipment the paramedics have to take.“The bigger the incident, the more equipment you’ve got to take and the longer the wait.”Mr Zadow said future developments needed to take emergency services access into account.He said the Bendigo Centre was an example of a recent development that had considered emergency services access.“Bendigo is only going to get bigger and there’s no room in the CBD so the only way to go is up, which will create more access problems.”Paramedics were called to an early-morning accident in the Marketplace car park last week.The girl involved in the single-vehicle accident received minor injuries.One of the first people on the scene was passer-by William Blair.“I couldn’t believe that the ambulance couldn’t get into the car park,” he said. “Someone’s life could be at risk.“Plenty of kids go up there to do burnouts because it’s polished concrete, and it looks like that’s what happened here.”Bendigo Marketplace centre manager Doc Stevens said gates would be installed by the end of the year, preventing access to the car park.He said the gates would be opened an hour before trading started and closed an hour after trading.“The gates are being installed to secure the property and make sure the place is safe - and to stop that sort of accident happening.”

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