Home » Reminder to help prevent summer emergencies

Reminder to help prevent summer emergencies

Daniel Bouwmeester    December 13, 2023    3 min read   

Summer is a notoriously busy time for the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS), who respond to an average of 3,900 calls per day throughout December and January.

QAS Director Lisa Dibley said heat-related emergencies were very common during the summer period in Queensland.

“Queensland is known for sunshine and particularly hot weather,” Ms Dibley said.

“Whilst that is one of the appeals of this state, it’s also one of the dangers we need to be conscious of.”

Lower-severity heatwave events and consistently hot summer days actually have the greatest overall impact on the QAS – with an increase of around 22% of calls made to Triple Zero (000) during such conditions, compared to only a 1% increase during the more extreme, designated heatwaves.

Ms Dibley also said the impact of hot weather can affect people’s health for up to 10 days after the heat event.

“Remain vigilant, and keep up protective measures even after the peak of a heatwave has passed,” she said.

“Check on our vulnerable persons, particularly the elderly, as they’re less likely to utilise cooling assists such as air conditioners or fans.”

QAS director Lisa Dibley is reminding Queenslanders to be vigilant this summer. Image: QAS. (Top image: Kampus Productions.)

Tracking heatwaves and floods

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) heatwave service can be used to keep track of when a heatwave is on the way.

Available on the BOM website, the service includes warnings of any severe or extreme heat waves expected within 4 days, and forecasts of possible heat waves expected within 7 days.

In the last two centuries, heat waves have taken more lives in Australia than any other natural hazard, according to BOM.

Queensland is also bracing for Cyclone Jasper which is expected to affect the northern and central parts of the state, with an increased risk of flooding across Queensland.

“Cyclone Jasper is expected to make waves on our Northern and Central coastal regions, but these weather events are not uncommon for us, and we’re preparing to send additional staff, vehicles, and equipment up to those areas when they need us,” Director Dibley said.

“These weather events can cause flash flooding, which can be difficult for our service which relies on access to roads to be able to reach our patients.

“Flooding is another risk – not only to our staff to be able service the community, but for people who get caught up in a flash flood, or intentionally drive or wade through flooded waterways.

“We cannot stress enough that entering flood waters of any kind is risking your life and those of the people who come to your aid.

“If it’s flooded – forget it.”

For more information, visit ambulance.qld.gov.au and bom.gov.au.

Daniel Bouwmeester contributed to this story.

See also: Vaping – a stop-smoking aid or a threat to Australia’s youth?

Vaping – a stop-smoking aid or a threat to Australia’s youth?

Daniel Bouwmeester

Daniel was born in a mining town in New South Wales to Dutch and Welsh immigrants, before relocating to Logan City, where he attended Canterbury College for twelve years. He pursued his passion for music by completing a first-class honours degree at the University of Queensland (UQ), and later signed with a local record label. He has travelled the world from a young age, including a student exchange in rural France, a job working the ski lifts in Colorado, and visits to the islands of the South Pacific. After a six-year career in market research, Daniel returned to UQ to complete a Bachelor of Journalism and Arts dual degree, majoring in political science. His varied experiences at home and abroad have contributed to a passion for spreading good news while defending the truth buried inside complex societal paradigms.