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Frankston paramedic calls time after nearly 50 years

September 12, 2023 | in Community News

Paramedic Kevin Cooper has been an integral part of Ambulance Victoria (AV) and his community for nearly half a decade.

The Frankston local had his final shift in August before taking well-deserved leave ahead of retirement.

Kevin joined AV as a cadet ambulance officer in 1975 when he was 17 years old.

“I completed my training and graduated in December 1977. I got to fly missions and help people over the next 10 years in the ‘Angel of Mercy helicopter’,” Kevin said.

Along with witnessing significant changes in paramedicine during his tenure, he has also played an important role in AV’s advancements.

In 2019, and for the next three years, he worked with the clinical team to implement the use of the drug “Solu-Cortef” in ambulances. The drug is used to treat patients with potentially life-threatening adrenal insufficiency conditions.

“After completing worldwide research, I wrote the first draft of the Adrenal Insufficiency Clinical Practice Guidelines from 2019,” he said.

“I was excited when Solu-Cortef came into the vehicles in January. Earlier this year, I used it on a mother and it was a great feeling to be able to return her to loved ones.

“Paramedics across the state have saved many lives already by being able to administer it.”

AV Mount Martha Acting Team Manager Suzanne Constantinou praised the impact Kevin has made at the service.

“Kevin has been directly involved in shaping local ambulance and healthcare, and it’s been a privilege to work alongside him,” Suzanne said. 

“His career highlights have been a true testament to his dedication and commitment to serving those most vulnerable in our community.”

Kevin said helping people feel safe during what is often one of their hardest days was rewarding and bringing new life into the world was among his most memorable days.

“I’ve delivered 15 babies and assisted in the delivery of another 15,” he said.

“Sometimes with the stress of being a paramedic, you wonder why you come to work, but delivering a baby or bringing someone back from the edge reminds you why you do this job.”

Kevin was joined by colleagues and his family at the start of August to celebrate his incredible career with Ambulance Victoria.