I'm sick of people dying in the back of my ambulance

THE campaign to get a Westpac Lifesacer Rescue helicopter based in Coffs Harbour lifted another notch last night after it was revealed it took more five hours for road-based paramedics and medical retrieval teams to get a seriously injured young boy from Nambucca to Coffs Harbour.

And one paramedic, who did not wish to be named, said he was "sick of people dying in the back of his ambulance" because of the lack of proper medical facilities.

The Nambucca accident once again highlights the need to base a third Westpac chopper at Coffs Harbour regional airport after a young boy, aged eight, was trapped and seriously injured in a runaway car in Nambucca Heads.

Ambulance crews were called to the scene at 5pm on Wednesday but the boy did not arrive at Coffs Harbour Base hospital until just after 10pm, and was then airlifted to Sydney's Westmead Children's Hospital.

The youngster was first taken to Macksville Hospital before being moved to Coffs Harbour.

The length of the operation has prompted several paramedics to question why a rescue chopper is still not based in Coffs Harbour.

"The youngster could have been airlifted and been in Coffs by 6pm," said one.

"That is a massive time saving and one which, in some cases, can save lives."

The brave paramedic has also revealed a Westpac rescue helicopter based in Coffs could have helped save the life of Josef Lesser, who tragically died in a accident on the Bucca Road just before Christmas.

"He could have been saved if we had a rescue chopper," he said.



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