Ambo union queries crash response

AMBULANCE Victoria will investigate the response by paramedics to Saturday’s fatal accident on the Kiewa Valley Highway that claimed the life of motorcyclist Graeme Coysh, 60.

The ambulance union has claimed it took too long for fully equipped crews to reach the scene where a car collided with the motorcycle, just nine kilometres from Wodonga’s ambulance station.

One Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance paramedic driving a single- response ambulance vehicle was reportedly at the intersection within 13 minutes of the call.

But the Ambulance Employees Australia state secretary Steve McGhie said it took 41 minutes for an ambulance and stretcher that could have taken the injured man to hospital.

Mr Coysh died shortly after the ambulance arrived at the scene.

Mr McGhie said neither of Wodonga’s two ambulance crews rostered on that day was able to immediately respond.

One was in Albury attending to a patient involved in a fall and the other was making a routine transfer of a patient from Rutherglen.

Mr McGhie asked why both stretcher ambulances were sent out to relatively minor jobs, leaving only a single paramedic with the single-response vehicle to go alone to a critical incident.

Mr McGhie said it would probably be impossible to say whether Mr Coysh could have survived if the ambulance had arrived earlier, but he worries the outcome might have been different had he been taken to hospital.

“The issue is that if a stretcher ambulance arrived earlier, he might have been able to be transported to the hospital,” he said.

“You have to give people the best opportunity to survive.

“I don’t think in this particular case the ambulance response did that.”

Ambulance Victoria has extended their sympathy to Mr Coysh’s family.

Yesterday it issued a short statement on behalf of Hume regional manager Garry Cook.

“We are currently reviewing the case and are prepared to meet with the family to discuss the outcome,” it said.

The crash is subject to a police investigation and officers are looking into the safety of the highway’s intersection with John Boyes Drive and John Schubert Drive.

They are yet to determine if charges will be laid against the 22-year-old woman driving the Toyota Corolla that hit the south-bound travelling motorcycle.