Bateau Bay Paramedics have been chosen to trial high-tech, “ ruggedized ” smartphones under a $314,000 trial to tackle mobile blackspots in rural and regional areas.
NSW Minister for Health, Mr Brad Hazzard, joined NSW Ambulance’s Acting Executive Director, Operational Logistics, Mr Peter Elliott, and paramedics at Bateau Bay Ambulance Station, to announce that the trial is underway at Bateau Bay, as well as Batemans Bay and Dubbo. The trial which will see 200 vehicles fitted with the high-tech devices, which is part of a $35m ongoing investment in radio and critical telecommunications.
“Every second counts in an emergency and a reliable communication channel could mean the difference between life and death for a patient,” Mr Hazzard said. “These smartphones are a smart investment and will ensure paramedics have undisrupted phone connection at all times and can respond faster and with confidence in any weather condition from any corner of the state.” The devices are shockproof, waterproof and dust-resistant, and function more efficiently than satellite phones in many environments. Mr Elliott said the smartphones will complement existing radio communications to provide paramedics with multiple communications tools under the revolutionary Vehicle Area Network program.
“The Vehicle Area Network program brings four radio and satellite networks into one communication hub to overcome communications challenges presented by the varying terrains and topographies across NSW,” Mr Elliott said. “This hub streamlines communications by providing one access point for calls or communications made or accessed by paramedics in the field.” The NSW Government’s $35m ongoing investment includes new in-vehicle and portable radios, upgrades to regional ultra-high frequency infrastructure, new mobile data terminals for vehicles, and a new, long-range digital radio network for isolated regions.
Source: Media release, Jan 31 Natasha Wallace, offi ce of Brad Hazzard