Mitchell Ambulance Auxiliary has put out an urgent call for office bearers as it seeks to continue its vital paramedic support role across the region.
The auxiliary is dedicated to raising money to support Mitchell Shire ambulance and paramedic groups through the provision of training and equipment.
President Tom Thomson said the group needed new members – in particular a secretary and treasurer – if it was to continue to operate effectively.
“Our auxiliary supports Wallan, Kilmore, Broadford and Seymour paramedics,” he said.
“At the moment we’ve run into a little bit of trouble in that I don’t have a secretary and my treasurer is retiring to go travelling around Australia in June, so two very important members of the auxiliary are not there.
“The danger is that Ambulance Victoria could very well say that we cannot continue because we haven’t got the proper officers.”
Mr Thomson said joining the auxiliary was ‘not hard work’.
“We only meet once a month for an hour at Kingsgate Village in Kilmore,” he said.
“We’re battling to get people in Seymour, and in Broadford we’re hoping to get a sub-committee going to support our station there.”
Mr Thomson said he could not understand the group’s difficulty in finding new office bearers.
“I’ve been doing this for 15 years and have never been short of a secretary or a treasurer,” he said.“There’s a little bit of work, but not a lot. We do know that most people are retired, so we can’t take up too much of their time, and if we’ve got younger ones usually they’ve got children at school so they’ve got to get home.”
Mr Thomson said the work of the auxiliary was vital in supporting the region’s emergency responders.
“At the moment we’re on a drive to raise $25,000 for training equipment in Broadford, because paramedics undergo testing all the time so they’ve got to practice on mannequins,” he said.
“We bought one for Wallan that cost $20,000 and we’ve had one in Kilmore fixed.
“We found one that belonged to Seymour that had been in a repair shop for over three years, so we got that out and now we’ve got to get one for Broadford.
“We raise money through raffles, through sponsorship where we can, Bunnings let us have barbecues – things like that.
“We’ve got to get the best equipment we can for these ambulances to be able to look after our area. It’s very important that we maintain a high standard for our ambulance staff.”
Mr Thomson said any prospective office bearers would need to have their own laptop in order to communicate with Ambulance Victoria. People interested in joining the auxiliary or filling the office bearer positions can call Mr Thomson on 0427 755 446.