Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Paramedics under heat with more calls

Ambulance Victoria crews have responded to double the usual number of heart attacks and about 250 heat-related emergencies during this week’s heatwave so far.

DARREN LINTON January 17, 2014 5:59am

Hotting up: Sweat runs down the face of Nikolas N’Godrela during the Greater Shepparton Summer Challenge tennis tournament on Wednesday.

With another day of extreme heat to get through today, Ambulance Victoria is urging people with minor medical complaints to find other options, rather than calling 000 as the heatwave continues.

The organisation is also repeating important warnings that have been too often ignored.

Despite the dangerous and even deadly consequences of leaving children in cars, ambulances have been called to 35 cases since Monday, including an incident at Cobram.

The overall workload of ambulance staff has increased almost 20 per cent since Monday.

Ambulance Victoria emergency management manager Paul Holman said the community could play a part to help ease the pressure.

‘‘People should only ever call 000 if they have a medical emergency,’’ Mr Holman said.

‘‘One of the 000 phone calls we received this week was from someone whose son had a sore throat. If you are suffering chest pain or any other serious medical condition, then certainly call 000, but if it is something less urgent then just think about whether a doctor, Nurse On Call, a relative or some other service is more appropriate.’’

With the north of the state particularly still experiencing extreme heat, Mr Holman warned of the cumulative effect of the heatwave.

‘‘People need to respect the heat, and take precautions to avoid it,’’ he said.

‘‘If you can avoid being outside, do it. Drink plenty of water and reduce your activity.’’


While bushfires raged in the west of Victoria yesterday, the Goulburn Valley had a relatively calm day, with the worst incident a caravan that caught fire on Murchison-Rushworth Rd sparking a grassfire.

Across the region, temperatures reach the 40°C mark soon after noon.

After a long, hot night when the temperature did not drop below the mid-20°C range, Kyabram reached a scorching 44.1°C at 3.24pm.

Shepparton reached 43.2°C at 4.23pm and another extreme day is forecast for today, with temperatures again climbing towards the mid-40°C range.

Tomorrow will still be a warm 37°C and the real relief won’t arrive until tomorrow night, when the overnight temperature will fall into the low 10°C range.

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