NSW Ambulance Laurieton paramedic Tina Maxwell

Paramedic pinches herself for 'working in paradise'

NSW Ambulance Laurieton paramedic Tina Maxwell says she's incredibly lucky for landing a job in the Camden Haven area.

2019 marks 40 years since Lee Clout (formerly Susan Lee Vickery) became the first woman ever to receive her cap badge, becoming the first NSW Ambulance female paramedic.

Four years ago Tina was the first woman at the NSW Ambulance Laurieton station. Now there are six who are part of the paramedic team.

Tina has been a paramedic for 17 years. She started out as a paramedic in Sydney, before working in a small country town called Finley.

Tina said a lot of elderly patients are surprised when they see women paramedics who come to help them.

"However very quickly they see we've got the skills to help them," she said.

"Many elderly female patients are grateful to have a woman help them because it's at a time when they often feel at their most vulnerable."

Being a paramedic is incredibly rewarding, as Tina said it's great when they hear from someone who has made it after being extremely unwell.

Paramedics also sometimes get the opportunity to deliver babies.

Tina said for the first year of being a paramedic in the Camden Haven community she had to keep pinching herself.

"It's paradise here so a lot of paramedics don't want to ever leave," she said.

"I don't think I'll ever be complacent."

Tina's had very different experiences after working in the big city environment of Sydney and the small country town of Finley.

At Finley there was a hospital run by a general practitioner on call. Patients had to be transferred hundreds of kilometres by ambulance to a bigger hospital if required.

In Laurieton paramedics help a lot of elderly people with associated illnesses and falls.

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