Stockton Beach, NSW

The paramedic training goes into action with a night-time rescue and sand-driving on Stockton Beach.

Alphonso was alone in the bush. How lost or how long he’d been lost was probably unknown to the unfortunate bushwalker as he was semi-delirious and suffering from extreme cold. His busted ankle probably didn’t help either. Still, earlier, when more coherent, one thing Alphonso had managed to do was relay an eight-figure grid reference to the triple 000 operator via his mobile.

None of this information was yet known to our ambulance course (Special Operations – Rescue) participants back at camp. That was for them to discover once they’d worked out where Alphonso was. To initiate the operation, the ambulance service had received a call about our lost walker.

Since it would require a remote operation it was directed straight to the Rescue and Special Casualty Access Team (SCAT) nearest to the area. Well, it would have been if this wasn’t all fictitious and just another component of the course.

Using the Military Grid Reference System this eight-figure grid reference was given to the team which they had to use to work out the location on a topographic map. They then had to work out the distance and the quickest, most efficient way of accessing the patient. To do this, they used a map, compass, and hand-held GPS units.


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