Ambulance NSW says it’s important to still check on friends even though R U OK? Day is over.
Ambulance NSW Broken Hill Station Officer, Simon Evitts, says asking workmates if they’re coping is something ambos do regularly.
“R U OK? Day is advertised and is a planned day, but it’s something that we do on a daily basis,” he says.
“Like working in crews and partners, always checking up on your partner and making sure they’re okay and supporting them where needed.”
In their field of work, there are often difficult calls to attend, and they ensure to check in after those jobs.
“There are tough jobs you go to,” says Evitts, “but at the completion of that job we’ll have a debrief, where we discuss the job, good things that have happened, things we could’ve done better and that’s a very structured process within NSW Ambulance.
“We do have external employee-assistance programs, peer-support officers that we can call upon, but normally that’s very confidential – the person can do that individually.
“But we also support each other in a debrief process, and then follow-up in the coming days, to make sure the people are feeling okay about the tough jobs and offer further support if they’re not.”
Evitts says R U OK? Day is always important, but even moreso for the community in the current COVID climate.
“As everyone knows, with restrictions and lockdowns, it’s very, very tough on a lot of people. There are support networks there, but it’s a matter of reaching out.
“It can be a lonely time for some, so I think it’s very important to recognise if you’re struggling then reach out for help.
IMAGE: Broken Hill Ambulance Officers (from left) Rachel Peake, Liam Flint, Simon Evitts, Garry McInnes and Daryl Lyons. PICTURE: Emily Ferguson
This article was first published on 11 September 2021.