Taz Paramedic Wyndham Star Weekly

Insight Into Paramedic’s World

Ambulance Victoria paramedic Taz Kumar said that people in his profession “learn to expect the unexpected” with every day on job the being different.

Mr Kumar, who lives in the Jubilee area of Wyndham Vale, might look familiar – he was a regular in seasons one through three of the Channel Nine show Paramedics.

He said being followed by camera crews was unusual at first, but he became used them.

Mr Kumar said the show provided viewers with a valuable insight into what occurs within an ambulance van during medical emergencies.

One result of appearing on the show is that Mr Kumar is often recognised in public, with fans requesting selfies.

Mr Kumar migrated from India to Australia 21 years ago.

Before coming here, he studied for more than six years to work as a physician’s assistant in the emergency departments of Indian hospitals.

Mr Kumar said Delhi did not have paramedics during his time there, but his long-term ambition was to become an ambulance officer in Australia.

He said that most paramedics, himself included, did not choose the profession for money or recognition, but rather the ability to help people with anything from pain relief to resuscitating a patient after a heart attack.

“I think the most important thing about this job, whether you create a small or big difference, is that your work is always appreciated,” Mr Kumar said.

“The relief and hope you see on people’s faces is something you cannot buy with money.”

He said being approached by people while out and about, who thanked him for saving their lives – or, in one case, helping to deliver a baby in a driveway – was a highlight of being a paramedic.

In addition, Mr Kumar said that seeing a car crash victim make a full recovery after paramedics “worked on her for a long time” was another highlight.

Some of the call-outs that paramedics attend have a lighter side, too.

Mr Kumar recalls attending a residence where an elderly man had been reported as feeling short of breath and emotional.

The paramedics conducted a full assessment of the man, who started to calm down.

The man mentioned to Mr Kumar and the others that he was upset due to losing his TV remote.

“We searched the house and found the remote had slipped under his recliner chair,” Mr Kumar said.

“He said: ‘Thank God, you saved my life’.”

On a more serious note, Mr Kumar said that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed “immense” pressure on all medical and allied health staff.

He said paramedics have been taking hundreds of COVID-positive patients to hospitals across Melbourne every week.

“This is not a nine-to-five job, this is a 24-hour battle,” he said.

More than 95 per cent of Ambulance Victoria staff have chosen to be vaccinated against the virus.

“I would like to see everyone get vaccinated as quickly as possible, so we can have life back to what it was like before the pandemic,” Mr Kumar said

“We are all in this together.”

Mr Kumar said it was also important for community members to only call triple-0 when faced with a genuine medical emergency.

He said non-emergency calls put even more pressure on paramedics.

“It means ambulances aren’t in the community for emergencies when they are needed,” he said.

For less-urgent health needs, it is recommended people call their GP, a pharmacist or the Nurse on Call service, which offers free 24/7 medical advice on 1300 60 60 24.

Words by Alesha Capone.
Source: Wyndham Star Weekly

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