An exhausted Victorian Ambo has taken to Facebook to address the protestors in Melbourne.
The scene that unfolded left Alanah Jane, her partner and their patient searching for a way to get to hospital.
“Today I tried to make my way over the Westgate bridge while my partner was monitoring our patient in the back of our ambulance. He needed care at an emergency department in the city, and much to my dismay our main pathway into the city — the Westgate Freeway — was blocked off by people that I can’t even begin to describe.
”I had my blue and red lights on, pulled over to speak to a police officer who ran over and said that I could try to push through but it would be risky. Up ahead, there were thousands of protestors – protesting lockdowns, protesting masks and vaccines, calling for our premier’s resignation – and blocking traffic. Harassing passersby. Trashing innocent people’s vehicles. Throwing bottles of urine at passing cars. Setting off flares. This is the reason multiple ambulances were delayed attending unwell patients, and this is the reason we were delayed transporting ours. I moved forward, caught a glimpse of the thousands of selfish protestors ahead blocking traffic, and had to reverse up the freeway and physically turn my ambulance around.
“It took me over an hour and a half to move 10km to hospital. And tonight, hours after we expected these protests to end, the freeway was still shut. All of these extra delays are to your family members, your friends. People genuinely needing attendance for emergencies. I have never been against peaceful protests, against union action or against the human right to free speech. But this is actively impacting on our patients. This is not a peaceful protest. This is impacting on the human right to equal healthcare.
“We were not the only ambulance stuck in today’s traffic. Should any of those patients have terrible outcomes because of delays to us attending or delays to definitive care, who will be to blame? Will the protestors have manslaughter charges against their names? Doubt it.
“I hadn’t been overly vocal about my thoughts on all of the politics behind these protests despite my previous post a few days ago, but now I am livid. Now I am frustrated. And like all my colleagues, be it the other paramedics, nurses, doctors and police that I just spent my shift alongside, I am feeling both disgusted and defeated.
“Today’s behaviour was absolutely abhorrent. I wish those of you who participated or supported this could see the looks on the faces of those you’ve affected today. Masks are not muzzles. Vaccines are safe. And for the love of God, COVID19 is not a conspiracy.
“If you have me on social media or in your life, I don’t care if we are family or friends. If you participated today, we are no longer family. We are no longer friends. This is not up for debate. You can not suggest you support the actions of those involved in today’s protests and in the same breath call me or any other healthcare or emergency worker a friend or family.
“I just got home, almost three hours after my shift was due to end. My partner likely still hasn’t made it home.
“And to those of you that have been nothing short of supportive, and have done the right thing, we see you. We appreciate you. And we can never say thank you enough.
- Once again,
A very exhausted ambo”