Paramedics take first aid skills to sheep station near Yalgoo in WA’s Mid West


A group of station owners and Indigenous community members in the Mid West have battled heat and flies on a remote sheep station to learn how to save lives.

They were bussed in to Gabyon sheep station, about 35 kilometres south of Yalgoo, to take part in a first aid course run by St John Ambulance.

Local paramedic Blair Bayens said the choice of location was an important element of the course.

“It was conducted in the middle of the bush so it was relevant to our local Indigenous [people] and station owners,” he said.

“It wasn’t a plastic environment, we sort of tried to recreate the same type of location, I guess, as to where these people are living.”

Mr Bayens said participants were given crucial first aid skills, which hopefully could be passed on to others.

“Everyone passed [the course],we had some first aid mannequins for them to take home with them so they can show their children how to do CPR,” he said.

A similar course was held in Mount Magnet several weeks ago.

Communities reaping benefits of courses

Mr Bayens said recent history had shown the value of such courses in the regional areas.

“We’ve actually seen it on the ground first-hand the impact that it’s making on the community,” he said.

“In the past twelve months we’ve seen people placed in the recovery position prior to the ambulance arrival, basic first aid, wound-dressing, stemming of bleeding and things like that,” he said.

Four participants of the Yalgoo course plan to go on to complete their ambulance officer volunteer course to become members of the Yalgoo ambulance service, while two young indigenous women have been selected for a new ambulance officer youth cadet program for country WA.

Shannon Simpson and Katie Flannagan, both 16, said they wanted to help their community, and hoped to one day go on to be paramedics.

St John Ambulance WA Mid West regional manager Lynne Hunt said the course was part of the Aboriginal Ambulance Project, which allowed Indigenous community members to attend the course for free.

She said people should contact St John Ambulance if they were interested in taking part in a first aid course.

“If a group of community members in any part of the Mid West are interested in learning first aid, we are willing to go to any number of remote locations to deliver these important lifesaving skills to the community,” she said.

Great work from St Johsn heading out to these remote parts, I wish we could do this. Make sure you learn all of the first aid skills you need in an accredited first aid course. At Canberra First Aid we can offer you a great training package in one of our first aid courses at a good price so book in now.

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