Strapped in

Queensland ambulances are the first in the country to implement child safety seats.

Story Nathan Torpey

The latest Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) fleet will have child safety seats fitted amid growing concerns over how a patient’s child could be safely transported in the event of an emergency.

Previously, paramedics would be unable to transport children unless they had a car seat on board.

This was problematic given the amount of lifesaving equipment required and forced paramedics to call additional units for support to transport children.

The newly-designed child safety seat, which folds out from the standard adult seat when in use, takes no extra space from other equipment and meets all Australian safety guidelines.

QAS Principal Fleet Technical Officer Graham Hodges said the seats were one of the most important advances in ambulance technology.

“It may not directly save lives but it will make the lives of both paramedics and patients easier,” he said.

“Now we can deal with a difficult situation efficiently and effectively and expect other ambulance services across the country to soon follow suit.”

The seat is available to children aged one and up and will be fitted to all newly built Queensland ambulances.

QAS Canungra Ambulance officer Harry Beyne said the implementation of the seat was a fantastic development.

“Knowing their child is safe reduces the stress of the patient who is required to go to hospital,” he said.

“If we can reduce the patient’s anxiety or stress levels, it helps with not only the current treatment but their ongoing recovery.”

RACQ Principal Road Safety Advisor Joel Tucker said improved safety procedures for transporting children were imperative.

“It is great that the QAS has identified the issue of safely transporting children in ambulances and implemented an innovative and standards-approved solution.”