Ambo tackles new job on hamilton

LEE Charles from the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) moved to Hamilton Island with his wife and family at the start of February for a change in lifestyle and the challenge of working in a remote area.

Mr Charles is an Advanced Care Paramedic with over five years experience, and is now the sole Officer in Charge on Hamilton Island.

The move brought about a sea change from the 'rat race' of Brisbane, and also presents as a great opportunity for the paramedic to further enhance his career.

“It's a good escape from the hustle and bustle of Brisbane, and working in remote areas as an Officer in Charge will hopefully create greater employment opportunities down the track, “ Mr Charles said.

“Ultimately I want to become an Intensive Care Paramedic.”

As the sole QAS Officer, Mr Charles is responsible for a team of about 15 volunteers who work in various positions within Hamilton Island Enterprises.

In his first four months here, Mr Charles admits it's a big change to what he was used to in Brisbane.

“Instead of car accidents, there are a lot of buggy roll-overs,” he said.

“Cyclone Hamish was an experience; it was all very new to me.”

Mr Charles further explained that by having no hospitals on the island, he needs to be very clinical in his approach to certain situations.

“A lot of forward thinking is required, I need to ascertain and communicate early with the island's Doctor and mobilise the CQ Rescue Helicopter if someone needs definitive care at either Mackay or Townsville hospital,” he said.

The Charles family, which includes Lee, wife Jo and three boys Lachie (7), Austin (6) and Flyn (1) have settled in very quickly to their new home.

“We all love it up here,” Mr Charles said.


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