65 Aust, NZ paramedics in PNG

65 paramedics from Australia and New Zealand are in Port Moresby to assist the Joint Ambulance in providing pre-hospital medical support for the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week.

The largest contingent of the Joint Ambulances medical support team arrived in Port Moresby on Saturday, November 10th, and are residing at the Mahuru Seaview Hotel.

The guests were welcomed by local traditional dancers organised by the Hotel.

St John Ambulance PNG Chief Paramedic Officer, Phil Proust, said: “All these paramedics have come here voluntarily, no paramedic has been paid, they’ve taken their own holidays, their leaves, they’ve left their families and because they want to help Papua New Guinea.

“So I’m very proud to be part of this contingent of paramedics.

“They’ll be deployed in all venues around the place, APEC Haus, a lot of Hotels, they’ll be looking after the leaders at night time, if any of the leaders get sick in the night time, then our paramedics along with our Papua New Guinea St John’s Ambulance personnel will be there to help them,” said Proust.

Many have travelled far and wide across Australia and New Zealand to arrive in PNG.

“We’ve got intensive care paramedics, and special care paramedics and some paramedics that are also registered nurses, and they come from Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia and New Zealand, so they are coming wide and far from Australia and New Zealand.

“Some of these people have been travelling in excess of 30 hours to get here so we can all be ready to start APEC on Monday,” Proust added.

Nearly 30 ambulances have been added to support the work of the contingent.

Meanwhile, hotel manager Lister Heni informed the guests they were happy to be part of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week by providing accommodation.

Cedric Patjole