Home » QAS reminder to be vigilant and prevent summer emergencies

QAS reminder to be vigilant and prevent summer emergencies

Jamie Furness    January 18, 2024    3 min read   

Summer is a notoriously busy time for the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS), who respond to an average of 3,900 calls per day throughout December and January.

QAS Director Lisa Dibley said heat-related emergencies were very common during the summer period in Queensland.

“Queensland is known for sunshine and particularly hot weather,” Ms Dibley said.

“Whilst that is one of the appeals of this state, it’s also one of the dangers we need to be conscious of.”

While it could be assumed that designated heat waves amplify calls to Triple Zero (000), it’s the lower-severity heatwave events and consistently hot summer days that have a greater impact.

There is an increase of 22.16% of calls to the QAS during lower-severity heatwave events, as opposed to only 1.16% in more extreme designated heatwaves.

Director Dibley said the impact of hot weather can affect people’s health for up to 10 days after the heat event.

“Remain vigilant, and keep up protective measures even after the peak of a heatwave has passed,” she said.

“Check on our vulnerable persons, particularly the elderly, as they’re less likely to utilise cooling assists such as air conditioners or fans.”

QAS director Lisa Dibley is reminding Queenslanders to be vigilant this summer.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, in the last 200 years heat waves have taken more lives in Australia than any other natural hazard.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s heatwave service can be used to keep track of when a heatwave is on the way. The service includes warnings of any severe or extreme heat waves expected within 4 days, and forecasts of possible heat waves expected within 7 days.

Cyclone Jasper is also currently affecting the northern and central parts of the state, with an increased risk of flooding across Queensland.

“Cyclone Jasper is expected to make waves on our Northern and Central coastal regions, but these weather events are not uncommon for us, and we’re preparing to send additional staff, vehicles, and equipment up to those areas when they need us,” Director Dibley said.

“These weather events can cause flash flooding, which can be difficult for our service which relies on access to roads to be able to reach our patients.

“Flooding is another risk, not only to our staff to be able service the community, but

for people who get caught up in a flash flood, or intentionally drive or wad through

flooded waterways.

“We cannot stress enough that entering flood waters of any kind is risking your life

and those of the people who come to your aid.

“If it’s flooded – forget it.”

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Jamie Furness