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Sirens wail for emergency services

Paramedic and United Voice union delegate Alistair Vagg is worried about potential job cuts to the ambulance service.
Paramedic and United Voice union delegate Alistair Vagg is worried about potential job cuts to the ambulance service. Chris Ison Rokcpara

PARAMEDIC Alistair Vagg is normally the one we call on in need.

Now he and his colleagues are turning to the community for help as their roles come under scrutiny from the cost-cutting Newman government.

Alistair, who is also a union delegate for United Voice, is encouraging people to go online and support ambos and firies on their website at standingwithus.com.

The qualified paramedic of nine years said he believes the only ambulance officers safe from the government's axe are a handful of those on the frontline.

Alistair said despite the rumours of mass job cuts, the government refused to give any solid answers until the September budget was released.

"We've got grave fears," he said. "We've got an ambulance service that's recognised as one of the best in the world. But we are worried that after September that won't be the case."

Alistair said ambulance stations were already understaffed, and Premier Campbell Newman's refusal to guarantee the future of stations and paramedics across Queensland this week had left him cold.

He said deteriorating enterprise bargaining agreement negotiations could force them into industrial action.

"We really want to do what we come to work to do every day, because we're ambos," Alistair said. "If the Newman government could give us the confidence to do that. We are worried about the community."

Topics:  campbell newman, emergency services, united voice union



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