The ambulance community has lost a legend with the recent passing of Dr Ric Bouvier, 93, an integral figure in the evolution of today’s modern ambulance service.
Honoured by the Australian Medical Association and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Dr Bouvier helped transform paramedics from ambulance drivers with a first aid certificates to trained medical professionals.
Dr Bouvier was the co-initiator of the Latrobe Valley Ambulance Service, member of its committee for over 25 years and President of VASA (Victorian Ambulance Services Association) for 25 years.
He set up the first Ambulance Officer School at Geelong in 1961, advancing the clinical practice of Ambulance Officers and their engagement in the community.
In the late 1960’s, he was ahead of his time in advocating that ambulance officers should have an education equivalent to that of nurses. He was a strong supporter of the then Institute of Ambulance Officers (now Paramedics Australasia) and published on paramedic education.
Dr Bouvier is remembered as a gentle man, with an ever present smile. He was dedicated to his family and to his wider community through his profession and was a special and respected leader within the ambulance community across Australia.