Ambo vollies’ supply fears
The Capes region is under-resourced with personal protection equipment leaving responding St John Ambulance volunteers concerned about their health, according to those on the frontline.
The Times understands volunteers responding to extreme cases of self-isolating COVID-19 patients would be required to wear hazmat suits and debrief via an aeration system resulting in delays.
A St John Ambulance spokeswoman said a plan was in place for distribution of reusable face masks once available and a fast-track ordering system was also in place. “While (international) supply chains respond to the increased demand, St John continue to monitor stock levels across the State,” she said.
“The first lot have been distributed to frontline metro paramedics and medical staff. The next stage we are looking at is to roll these masks out to permanent regional staff.
We are redistributing the remaining disposable PPE to volunteer centres as needed.”
She said if the need arose, applications for volunteers who were willing to help would be prioritised according to need.
South West MLC Adele Farina said paramedics and volunteers’ safety was essential.
“I have written to the Minister for Health and St John Ambulance expressing my concerns and calling for paramedics and volunteers to be provided with PPE,” she said.
“A roll-out is currently under way and a further roll-out is planned for volunteer sub-centres in the coming weeks.” She also thanked all workers in the region.
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