United Voice is currently co-funding a research project with the Australian Research Council to commission Griffith University academics to investigate employment conditions in ambulance services across Australia. The project, which began at the beginning of 2017, combines interviews and surveys of paramedics and emergency medical dispatch staff.
At this early stage, key concerns of emergency services staff related to:
- opportunities for resilience training to identify and deal with mental health concerns;
- timing of calls and integrity of discussions with peer support officers;
- number of available free visits to the external counselling service;
- time restrictions influencing debrief opportunities following difficult jobs;
- fatigue associated with shift duration and particularly overtime;
- challenges of managing leave requirements and staffing levels;
- and limited career development or pathways.
The survey will be initiated around June 2017 to better measure the scale and impact of these and other issues. United Voice will select a random sample of members to be contacted by phone and email to participate in the survey. If contacted by the Griffith University research team, your participation will be valuable in identifying employment issues and areas where changes are required to services and support provided to our members. A detailed report of the findings will be provided to United Voice with the goal of improving the experiences of Queensland Ambulance Service staff.