Ambulance award for Anne
SHE has both saved lives and watched others slip away in her role as a volunteer, but still Anne McIntyre continues to service South Gippsland’s coastal community.
The Venus Bay resident received an Ambulance Service Medal in the Australia Day Honours announced on Friday.
Mrs McIntyre was recognised for her service as a founding member and joint team leader of the Venus Bay Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
The volunteers provide a first response to medical emergencies in Venus Bay, Tarwin Lower, Pound Creek, Middle Tarwin and Walkerville, until paramedics arrive.
Those communities can wait up to 45 minutes for a paramedic to attend simply because of the travelling time involved.
Officially part of Ambulance Victoria, CERT volunteers are trained, equipped and dispatched by Ambulance Victoria to attend to Triple 0 emergencies, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“I was surprised when they sent out the form asking if I would accept the award nomination. I did not get think I would get it because I’m not an Australian citizen,” she said.
“I’m Scottish but I’ve been in Australia for 53 years and have never been out of Australia.
“From the minute I arrived in Australia, I’ve loved it and have no intention of leaving here.”
Mrs McIntyre did not believe she, nor Venus Bay, would be bestowed such an honour.
“I would like to dedicate the award to the late Jenny Hibbit, who put in the submission to get a CERT in Venus Bay,” she said.
Fellow joint CERT leader Michelle Ford said Mrs McIntyre deserved the award.
“The only way we could stop her was when she broke her hip,” she said.
In 2017 alone, Mrs McIntyre attended 69 of the unit’s more than 100 callouts. The unit averages two to three a week, from chest pain and broken bones, to car accidents, near drownings, breathing difficulties, snake bites and croup.
“You’ve got to be dedicated and interested in people,” Mrs McIntyre said of the traits required to be a CERT member.
The role certainly poses challenges. A patient who died after a cardiac arrest had been known to Mrs McIntyre for several years.
Then there are the rewards. A man who had broken his ankle gave her flowers and a box of chocolates to say ‘thank you’.
Mrs McIntyre has been a CERT member for 10 years and recently received a medal for 10 years of good driving.
“I like the community involvement and you get to make a difference,” she said.
“The older ones feel like they can stay in their homes for longer because they know someone is going to be there in an emergency.”
In addition to educating the community about ambulance services, Mrs McIntyre has helped the local ambulance auxiliary through working bees and fundraising, including raising $12,000 for a defibrillator.
Mrs McIntyre celebrated Australia Day at a community gathering at the Venus Bay Surf Life Saving Club.
In 2014, she was named South Gippsland Shire’s Citizen of the Year in recognition of her dedication to the CERT, foster care and Venus Bay Angling Club.
The CERT recently installed a defibrillator for public use at Venus Bay’s shops and members taught the community how to use the device as well as treat snake bites. Another defibrillator is located at the Tarwin Lower Mechanics Hall.
CERT members train twice a month, revising CPR and drug administration. More members are welcome to help the current 13 members.
Short URL: /?p=23959