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Ambulance officers acknowledged for response to Ravenshoe tragedy

First responders recognised more than a year on from the Tablelands tragedy.


Queensland paramedics who responded to the Ravenshoe cafe explosion have received Meritorious Service Awards for their work in 2015.

19 paramedics received the award while a further 22 Queensland Ambulance Service [QAS] staff were presented with the Commissioner's Certificate of Commendation for their roles in dealing with the explosion.

The explosion occurred when the driver of a ute allegedly crashed into the Serves You Right Cafe, killing two people and injuring 14 others.

Cairns man Brian Scutt, 61, will face three dangerous driving charges in relation to the tragedy.

Health Minister Cameron Dick says the swift and professional response ‘saved lives’ in the immediate aftermath of the disaster.

“The Queensland Ambulance Service response to Ravenshoe demonstrated why they are the best ambulance service in Australia,” Mr Dick says.

“Their outstanding commitment and first class professionalism was of the highest standard.

“The Meritorious Service Award recognises outstanding service that goes above and beyond what is expected from a member of the ambulance service during a significant event.

“QAS personnel are regularly confronted with tragic or difficult cases in their daily work but the magnitude of a multi-casualty incident like Ravenshoe is something that many paramedics had not experienced before.

“Despite this, the QAS worked effectively as a team, with other agencies and the local community, to respond rapidly and provide a high-level of care to patients during this terrible situation.”

QAS Commissioner Russell Bowles says the recipients represented the ambulance service exceptionally.

“While the efforts of the QAS on the day of the Ravenshoe incident have been lauded previously, these awards and commendations are a fitting and significant honour for an officer,” Commissioner Bowles says.

“Every single QAS personnel stepped up during this incident to provide quality clinical care under what were very challenging circumstances.

“The Operations Centre and Local Ambulance Coordination Centre staff also deserve recognition for their contribution to the response effort.

“These 22 staff played a critical role in supporting our frontline paramedics to effectively respond to the incident.”