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Media Releases | St John Ambulance
EMPLOYEES: Emergency medical dispatcher gives cadets a phone call to remember
  28 Sep 2021

Would you know what to say if you had to call Triple Zero (000)? You might think there’s nothing to it, but when faced with a life-threatening emergency, the adrenaline is pumping and rational thought can fly out the window.

This is why our cadets complete communication skills as one of the elements of their comprehensive first aid training. Learning the phonetic alphabet, knowing how to use radios and learning what is involved in a Triple Zero (000) call all form part of their verbal communication training.

When the Katherine cadets were working through the final steps to achieve their communication skills proficiency, Superintendent Rhys and Cadet Leader Abbey wanted to give them a scenario they would really remember.

So who are you gonna call when you want the best of the best to help run your cadets through a Triple Zero (000) call scenario?

A St John NT emergency medical dispatcher, of course!

And what better dispatcher than an ex-cadet, someone who has been involved with St John NT since they were eight years old?

Enter Luke!

“I’ve always had a commitment for caring. Joining cadets at a young age and then becoming a cadet leader at 18 helped me realise I wanted to pursue a career as a paramedic." Said Luke.

 “The cadet program provides so many opportunities for young people to develop skills in communication, teamwork, leadership and social skills. When Abbey contacted me to assist the Katherine cadets, I couldn’t think of a better way to help!"

“Running scenarios helps to provide you with an insight, they get to practice what they learned, make decisions, attain feedback from peers and mentors and then put said feedback into practice.” 

And practice they did! Luke kindly volunteered his time to field a simulation Triple Zero (000) call for the Katherine cadets. This gave everyone a realistic chance to practice the communication skills they had learned.

“Running a Triple Zero (000) call scenario with an actual dispatcher who takes those calls was really invaluable practice for our Cadets”, Superintendent Abbey said.

“The cadets were so grateful for Luke’s time. Not only did he run the call simulation, but he also spent some time after answering questions about his role as call taker.

“Being an ex-cadet himself, it was really cool for our young people to see another pathway of employment and hear from someone who used to be just like them.”

Luke is well on his path to becoming a paramedic.

 “I’m currently studying paramedicine, as well as working as an EMD and a casual patient transport officer. I truly believe that coupled with my volunteering experience, I have made a consolidated approach to achieving my goal."

When asked what people should try to remember when calling Triple Zero (000), Luke offered the following advice:

1. Remain calm and give the EMD all the relevant details.

2. Check the scene and your surroundings. Your own safety is definitely one of the first things to consider.

3. Don’t hang up until the EMD tells you to do so.

4. Try your hardest to provide a street number, street name, nearest cross street, and the area, including distances from landmarks and roads as well as the property name (especially in rural areas).

If you call whilst travelling, state the direction you are travelling, the last town you passed and a description of the vehicle you are in. If you have a smartphone, make use of the map application, the Emergency+ app or the What 3 Words app, which can help dispatchers to find you.

 “My advice for anyone wanting to follow the same career path is to just go for it! Take every opportunity in your stride and jump at the chances you’re given. I have certainly enjoyed the wild ride and I don’t think I would change it for anything else! And my song of the week? It’s Stones by Emmit Fenn.”

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