A former army officer, a patient inspired after a serious car accident and a woman fulfilling her late brother’s wishes are among 115 paramedics officially graduating at a ceremony in Melbourne today.
“This is a new generation of paramedics who come from rich and varied backgrounds, and are part of the transformation under way at Ambulance Victoria,” said CEO Associate Professor Tony Walker.
“We know the impact our paramedics make to our community, delivering outstanding health outcomes each and every day,” Associate Professor Walker said. “Thanks to the work of our paramedics and first responders we are, on any clinical measure, one of the world’s best ambulance services.”
“Becoming a paramedic with Ambulance Victoria is by no means an ordinary job. It is one that I truly believe is the best in the world.”
Today’s graduating paramedics include:
- Former Australian Army officer Sven Holzheimer, who is based at Rosebud following a 22-year army career, including a posting in East Timor. “Every day is different. Every day you see something you might never have seen before. I love my job.”
- Former apprentice pastry chef Matt Grogan, who suffered a serious car accident in 2009 in which he almost lost his arm. His treatment inspired him to become an ambulance volunteer, then take up a paramedicine degree. Today he works at Cowes branch.
- Chloe Brennan, who had planned to enrol in paramedicine together with her younger brother Mitchell once he had finished his VCE. Tragically, Mitchel died in a car crash in 2010, aged 18. The Lyndhurst paramedic says she often thinks of her brother when she is working. “Mitchell would be proud as punch that I have achieved what we set out to do.”
- Wodonga paramedic Nathan Murray, who remembers riding in the back of the Stawell ambulance with his grandfather, a local ambulance officer, in the early 1990s. “It was a big old F150, and he used to bring it home to his farm where he lived. I knew at when I went to school that I wanted to be a paramedic. I just loved the idea of it.”
Many of the paramedics graduating today are part of the government’s $500 million commitment to provide an additional 450 paramedics over three years, as well as 15 new and upgraded branches, six new Super Response Centres in Melbourne, additional vehicles, and new paramedic resources in 12 rural locations.
“These additional paramedics and resources are helping us to deliver transformational, sector-leading initiatives that are providing better outcomes for our patients, our staff and for the whole Victorian community,” Associate Professor Walker said.
Today’s graduating paramedics have all completed a university degree and have spent at least 12 months on-road before becoming a Qualified Ambulance Paramedic. Today’s graduates are made up of 73 women and 42 men, who are working in branches across the state.