AS thousands of Year 12 graduates start preparing for Schoolies celebrations, the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) is asking them to stay safe, look out for their mates, and call Triple Zero (000) if they need urgent medical help.
QAS Gold Coast Assistant Commissioner Dee Taylor-Dutton said Schoolies celebrations were an important rite of passage for many school-leavers, but could easily turn to tragedy if teens weren’t careful.
“In previous years at Schoolies here on the Gold Coast, our paramedics have been called to a lot of incidents and injuries that could have been avoided,” Assistant Commissioner Taylor-Dutton said.
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“While there are some great experiences to be had, Schoolies also face many potential dangers. Dehydration, alcohol consumption, drink-spiking, drug overdoses and car accidents pose a threat to young revellers.
“If someone’s had too much to drink, overdosed on drugs, or has been injured, stay with them and call for help by phoning Triple Zero (000). If someone is unconscious, make sure they are rolled on their side and their airway is clear so that they can breathe properly.
“Drink-spiking can and does happen so never accept drinks from strangers or leave your own drinks unattended.
“We also suggest that Schoolies download the Emergency+ app for their smartphone in case they need to call Triple Zero (000). This free app gives coordinates from the phone’s GPS, which can then to be read out to the emergency dispatcher to pinpoint the patient’s exact location.
“Emergency+ is available for iOS and Android phones, and could save valuable seconds in an emergency if the caller is unsure of where they are.
Assistant Commissioner Taylor-Dutton warned Schoolies to be especially careful in high-rise buildings and avoid balcony hopping.
“There have been several deaths on the Gold Coast in recent times, where people have fallen from great heights while hopping between balconies. Historically, this is an issue for Schoolies too. There’s nothing more tragic than attending to a fatal accident of this sort where a young life could have been spared,” she said.
“The best advice is to enjoy yourself, but take things easy. Look out for your friends and call for help if they are in trouble.
“This is a special time for Year 12 graduates, and we want Schoolies to remember their holiday for all the right reasons.”
QAS is asking Schoolies to take some simple precautions:
•Drink plenty of water
•Don’t mix alcohol and medication
•Be careful crossing the road
•Wear flat, comfortable shoes to avoid tripping and blisters
•Be sun-smart: slip, slop and slap
On the Gold Coast, the QAS will have an Ambulance Treatment Centre set up near the main Schoolies hub on The Esplanade at Surfers Paradise. The treatment centre will be staffed by paramedics, nurses and doctors and will operate between 7pm and 2am from 22-29 November.
QAS will also conduct a daily media briefing at 3am from 23-29 November outside the Ambulance Treatment Centre. At each briefing, a QAS representative will be available to provide information on QAS activities and treatments during the Schoolies response period.