While their career paths may be different, 21 paramedics and 26 call takers came together to celebrate the same achievement – the completion of five weeks of intensive training and the start of their new lives.
For the new paramedic recruits, the celebration was bittersweet.
Many were set to hit the road the very next day to travel to their new postings – some leaving home for the first time to make the big move. At least, that was the case for three of the youngest paramedic graduates – Amy McCammon, Mia O’Reily and Amy Simon.
“I’m a little bit apprehensive but I’m excited,” Amy McCammon said.
“I’m glad I’m going to Armidale as it’s a bigger regional town, so that I have a bit more opportunity to get experience with jobs and things like that.
“I’ve never moved out of home before so it’s definitely a big move but I’m very excited.”
Mia O’Reilly, who is moving up north to Tuncurry, shared a similar sentiment. “It's a little bit daunting but I’m excited,” she said.
Amy Simon, who has been posted to Tamworth South, said she was relieved to finally graduate and get out on road. “It’s obviously something we’ve all been working towards for a long time, so it’s great to finally be able to get out there and do it,” she said.
“Paramedics have had such a hard time over the past two years. I think it’s a really great opportunity for us to help out and take some pressure off everyone who’s been on road.
“We want to be able to help the people that we work with as much as we want to be able to help those in the community who call us.”
Matthew Douglass, who spoke on behalf of the call takers at the ceremony before beginning his career at Sydney Control Centre, said it was “exceptionally fitting” his class graduated alongside paramedics. “It’s pretty exciting,” he said.
“I know that my class and I are very excited to finally graduate and get into the centre to start taking calls.
“I think it is exceptionally fitting to graduate alongside paramedics. We are the ones that send them their jobs down to their screens in their vehicles.
“I hope to end up as an on-road paramedic one day myself, but I think this is a great way for me to start and a great way to see the organisation.”