News : Call for Better Tas Ambulance Training
Tasmania, Australia, July 27, 2015 -- A series of short circuits that cut the power to Ambulance Tasmania's emergency call centre sparked an inquiry that has uncovered deficiencies in the service's fail-safe training for staff.
The Hobart-based communications hub for the state's southern region went offline for some 35 minutes from about 3.30am on July 5, delaying the dispatch of paramedics to a terminally ill woman who died.
Technical and operational reviews were launched to find what caused the problem at the three-year-old centre, and Ambulance Tasmania boss Dominic Morgan on Monday revealed details but said the reports would not be made public because they named staff members.
'The operational review highlighted a need for improvements in documentation, business continuity planning, training and exercising in preparation for such events, and has made nine recommendations to ensure we better support our staff in the future,' Mr Morgan said.
'It also found that the level of technical preparedness at the recovery site required improvement, and exercising and this created challenges for staff on the evening.'
The service has already implemented some of the recommendations and will address others.
The technical review found the initial power outage was caused by 'failure of a circuit breaker in a critical sub switchboard' and that the subsequent failure of two back-up power supplies was likely to have been caused by a short circuit.
Mr Morgan said the staff on duty at the time of the outage conducted themselves in an 'exemplary manner in very difficult circumstances', but that there was room for improvement.
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'The reports found there were several aspects in which we could be better prepared both to prevent and manage a similar incident in the future,' he said.
'We recognise this and will be moving immediately to ensure we can do better in the future.'
Ambulance Tasmania has remained in close contact with the family of the woman who died, and Mr Morgan has previously promised to keep them updated with the findings of the reviews.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Ambulance Tasmania:
Ambulance Tasmania, formally known as the Tasmanian Ambulance Service provides ambulance services in the state of Tasmania, Australia. The service was established by the Ambulance Service Act 1982 and operates within the Department of Health and Human Services.
Published: Tuesday, July 28, 2015
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