The talented dressmakers of Condobolin Ambulance Station have turned their medical waste into a fashion statement, even taking out first prize at their local show. (Right) Paramedic Ashlee Whitford models the 1860s style hoop skirt made entirely of expired PPE.

The paramedics at Condobolin are a crafty bunch.

Between callouts around their country town, Acting Station Officer Helen Hoare and Paramedics Lennon Carroll and Ashlee Whitford have applied their dressmaking skills to create a sumptuous ball gown.

The eye-catching hoop-style skirt has a familiar look, because it’s made entirely from expired PPE.

“We made the gown from expired P2 masks, sourced from our Station and Condo Hospital, with a sash made from gowns from an expired maternity kit,” said Helen.

“The idea struck me one morning at 3am driving back from Orange with Lennon.”

“I used 1860s style as an inspiration. The mask shape suited the ballooning shape of the dress well.”

“We made it with hot glue rather than sewing,” explained Helen.

“I did most of the construction with help from Lennon and Ashlee, with our colleague Kim Little cheering us on.”

“The bottom row alone contains 40 masks. We had to construct each layer then leave it to set fully before the next one as the masks were so heavy that they started pulling the glued layers apart."

A necklace to accompany the gown was made from ampoules of expired Adrenaline 1:1000 and 1:10,000.

The teal P2 masks that make up the petticoat give a fish-scale effect that gives the dress a sense of movement.

It’s a fashion statement that would look at home in a gallery or on a runway.

Indeed the dress won First Prize in Condobolin Show’s “Article of Clothing made from Recycled Products” category.

Paramedic Ashlee Whitford modelled the dress for NSW Ambulance's Sirens magazine.

“It has velcro up the back to make it easier to get into,” said Ashlee. “It still took two people to put it on
me, and I had to climb in underneath.

“I have a new appreciation of what women in the 1800s had to endure on a day to day basis. You can’t do anything in it but I felt
lavish and regal wearing it!”

Helen and her dressmakers are open to suggestions as to what’s next for their creation.

“If people have suggestions, please let us know. I’d be more than happy to donate it to a good cause!” said Helen.