Growing road toll hits hard for those first on the scene
BEING among the first people to arrive at serious crashes exposes paramedics to a range of heated emotions.
Experienced Toowoomba paramedic Sheree Wheeler said it was important for officers to control the chaos in order to have the best chance of saving crash victims.
Ms Wheeler, 50, has recently been partnered with student paramedic Tayla Henningsen, 20, in a mentoring role.
Miss Henningsen is less than a month away from completing her Bachelor of Paramedic Science degree.
Dealing with serious road trauma is one of the situations on which Ms Wheeler has been able to offer guidance.
It's a loss of life that doesn't really need to occur. Every one of those is somebody's loved one
"Emotions are always fairly high because there are usually two parties to blame," Ms Wheeler said.
"Part of our job is we have to have control of the scene.
"Sometimes we have to be quite firm with people."
She said the spike in the road toll did affect her personally.
"It's a loss of life that doesn't really need to occur.
"Every one of those is somebody's loved one."
Dealing with the trauma was something for which she said paramedics were well prepared.
"We've got really good support here.
Meanwhile, Miss Henningsen said she was yet to attend a fatal crash.
She has been working from Toowoomba station on a casual basis since November last year.
"I tried nursing but it wasn't really challenging enough," Miss Henningsen said.
Working in the profession she is studying has given her first-hand experience in emergency situations.
She said she wasn't sure how she would react when the call came to attend a fatal crash.
"I don't think I will really know until I go to one."
Ms Wheeler said she wanted drivers to not be in such a hurry.
"I just want people to be more careful."