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Bulleen paramedic a cut above the rest

March 22, 2024 | in Community News

A hairdresser turned paramedic has put his skills to good use, giving his AV colleagues a makeover for a cause that’s close to home.

Bulleen Advanced Life Support (ALS) Paramedic Salvatore Primerano picked up the scissors and hairdryer during his annual leave recently, setting up a temporary salon at the Templestowe branch.

ALS paramedic Salvatore Primerano is holding a scissors and is ready to perform a hair cut on a colleague.

ALS paramedic Salvatore Primerano with teammates at the Templestowe Branch.

Previously a hairdresser for more than 30 years, Salvatore provided haircuts and styling for his teammates over three days to raise money and awareness for Amyloidosis.

His wife Hazel was diagnosed with the complex and incurable disease in 2022 and is currently undergoing treatment.

Amyloidosis means amyloid deposits, known as protein, accumulate in tissues and organs of the body and can eventually lead to organ failure.

Salvatore said most people had never heard of the rare disease.

“We had never heard of it, and it came without any warning,” Salvatore said.

“Hazel initially lost a heap of weight, and it was only after follow up tests that we received the diagnosis.

“There is a lot of work being done in this space and I wanted to raise awareness and help provide support for patients and also their family members, who are also greatly impacted.”

Salvatore provided cutting and styling for 13 colleagues, using products donated by Davines Australia.

His efforts paid off, raising more than $800 over three days.

Bulleen Team Manager Oliver Forbes said the fundraiser was a huge success and a lot of fun.

“We were all only too happy to support Salvatore’s efforts and help highlight the impact of Amyloidosis,” he said.

“And thanks to him, we’ve never looked better.”

Salvatore, a father of two, made a major career change when he turned 50.

“I had always been interested in becoming an ambo, and when my kids had finished their university study, they helped me through the application process,” Salvatore said.

“I love it, and a fair bit of it isn’t that dissimilar to hairdressing.

“A lot of this job is having a conversation with your patients and reassuring them, which can make a big difference to their situation and distracting them from what is happening.”

Funds raised will be donated to the Australian Amyloidosis Network (AAN) which provides training for medical professionals and support for patients and their families.