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If you’re chatting with colleagues and friends in the ambulance sector, you may have heard the phrase ‘The Board is Back’. 

Colourful Collaboration: Ambulance Sector Shares Ideas to Mitigate Risk for First Responders

If you’re chatting with colleagues and friends in the ambulance sector, you may have heard the phrase ‘The Board is Back’. 

If you’re chatting with colleagues and friends in the ambulance sector, you may have heard the phrase ‘The Board is Back’.   

On June 22-24, 2021, at the Council of Ambulance Authorities (CAA) Virtual Expo, Trapeze Group and the CAA co-facilitated their annual knowledge collaboration initiative – an ‘ideas board’ where the industry comes together to share their experience and expertise on a pressing topic within the ambulance sector. Now in its third year, the 2021 board theme was ‘Mitigating Risk for Paramedics and Volunteers’. All attendees had the opportunity to submit their ideas on how to improve safety, increase visibility, and streamline processes for first responders.  

CAA Chief Executive, David Waters announced that “The Virtual Expo has been a great success with over 2000 visitors across the three days.  I have received numerous emails congratulating CAA on the interactive platform and the ease of navigation, so I am confident we will host the Expo again and look forward to even more exhibitors. The Trapeze Ideas Board was again an incredible draw-card that generated an amazing array of ideas around improving responder safety and wellbeing within the connected patient journey. The ideas board is an opportunity for us as an industry to collectively share our knowledge so that we can continue to support this mission and grow together”. 

The response was incredible, and participants were enthusiastic in presenting their ideas and concepts. Throughout the Virtual Expo, ideas from over 75% of the attendees were submitted from passionate members within Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea - with ideas coming from different departments, including field staff and executive managers. 

These ideas were visualised in a colourful mural by a graphic artist, which was continually updated as each concept was submitted. While an artist has been used previously, this was the first time the Interactive Ideas Board was live-streamed - on the Trapeze YouTube Channel.  

James Wetherall, Managing Director, Emergency Services at Trapeze Group, said, “It was excellent to see not only the quantity, but the quality of ideas generated around mitigating risk for paramedics and volunteers. Our team have been inspired by what was put forward. We know that technology is a key enabler to bring these ideas to life, and we look forward to working with the CAA and all ambulance authorities to drive the implementation of technology solutions to enable a truly Connected Paramedic and Volunteer”.  

The CAA shortlisted the following six ideas, based on what can make a real difference right now: 

  • Automated technology use and integration - Ewan Humphrey, Ambulance Victoria. 
  • Fatigue management alerts using Mobile Data Terminals - Bruce Paddock, NSW Ambulance. 
  • Mental health research - Steve Whitfield, Queensland Ambulance Service/Griffith University. 
  • Shared resource intranet for CAA member organisations - Jacquie Hennessy, St John Papua New Guinea. 
  • Making all information digitally available - Laura Robertson, Wellington Free Ambulance, and 
  • Integrating all IT systems - Dave Bevan, NSW Ambulance. 


The winning idea was awarded to Steve Whitfield from Queensland Ambulance Service/Griffith University for his suggestion on mental health research.  Steve’s idea outlined, “We need more research into how we can better maintain responder mental health while responding. Steve’s team have recently published an article in the Journal of Paramedicine and Emergency Response (JPER) that describes how rational and cognitive bandwidth can be reduced during incident response.  

The idea explained, “whilst paramedic and first responder wellbeing are at the forefront of current discussions, our responses are largely based on re-action”. Steve suggested a greater emphasis needs to be placed on pro-action to reduce reoccurrence.  

Similar ideas were put forward around Steve’s submission, including capturing various data sources to enable continuous wellbeing monitoring with the goal to achieve predictive trends and early intervention.  

With so many opportunities to connect, learn and share knowledge, the ideas board was highly valued. Trapeze and the CAA are looking forward to sharing the analysis of the ideas in the coming weeks.   

In the meantime, if you would like to receive a copy of the CAA/Trapeze Interactive Ideas Board mural, sign up here to receive a hi-res PDF, or a hardcopy via mail. 

“A big thanks to all our Expo visitors and to the organisations and services that exhibited – see you all in virtual Expo land again soon”(David Waters, CEO, CAA). 


About Trapeze 

With a team who are truly dedicated and passionate about what they do, Trapeze understands the impact ambulance services have on people’s lives. In an industry where providing essential health services and excellence in pre-hospital care is paramount, it is crucial patients receive the right care, at the right time, at the right place. 

To meet these objectives, our team are solely focused on delivering solutions that connect patient journeys to support meeting KPI’s, improve paramedic safety and influence better outcomes. 
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