Hundreds of our people and their family members have participated in fitness and wellbeing sessions online each week during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to the initiative of one Advanced Life Support Paramedic, Rain Histen ASM.
A former personal trainer and professional boxer, Rain became a paramedic a decade ago.
In recent years, she’s been a driving force behind a number of fitness initiatives at AV, including our people’s participation in the annual Eureka Stair Climb and Stadium Stomp events, and this year, the development of the AV Stay Fit and Well Hub.
While it’s not part of her day job, encouraging fitness has been a lifelong passion for Rain and something she regards as critical to help keep our people fit and well, both physically and mentally.
While her satisfaction comes simply from seeing people happy and connected through fitness, she was recognised for her contribution with an Ambulance Service Medal (ASM) last year.
“I want my colleagues to enjoy their jobs and putting proactive care of their health at the forefront of their minds holds them in good stead to combat acute stress,” Rain said.
“We can all be one job or day away from acute stress, so each of us needs to keep our tool box up-to-date. Our tools are our methods of resilience, and fitness is a key part of that.”
Early in 2020, Rain brought a proposal to AV to deliver fitness classes online and has since built out a daily program of strength, pilates, yoga and meditation classes that run live throughout the week, or people can replay them later if they miss a session.
“AV has been absolutely amazing in getting this program up,” Rain said.
“They’ve been so supportive.”
“Our leaders, including our CEO Tony Walker, have really walked the walk on fitness, which has inspired a lot of people and everything we’ve done for fitness has also been a positive push toward mental health at AV.”
“This is about creating a culture that firmly recognises that fitness, combined with our psychological services, is an important part of our wellbeing and resilience.”
The Hub also includes a Feel Good Friday event which encourages people to get together virtually each week to connect, hear from expert guest speakers on topics such as resilience and mental health, and hear inspiring stories from authors and survivors.
“It’s a bit of unity and a bit of community, which we all need, and it’s all online because we can’t do anything else right now,” Rain said.
“We give every day, whether or not people are paramedics. All of our people are doing something every day to help deliver our service to the community, and we need to look after ourselves and maintain that balance.”