AN overweight Wendouree woman who fell over on Monday waited on the ground for almost five hours before paramedics could lift her up.
Susan Moroney, 56, fell on Monday afternoon and while she was not injured, she couldn’t lift her 160kg-plus frame.
She called triple zero and an ambulance attended within minutes.
When the Ballarat-based paramedics arrived, they were unable to physically lift Ms Moroney and called in support from Geelong.
One of only a handful in Victoria, the specialised lifting paramedics team from Geelong arrived just after 7pm.
Ms Moroney was assisted up and was otherwise fine.
She said she was “very happy” with the service provided by the Ballarat paramedics, but said she was shocked no heavy-lifting equipment was fitted to any of the city’s ambulances.
“I just think there is a population here in Ballarat that are overweight or obese that needs this equipment,” she said.
“I wasn’t disappointed with the Ballarat paramedics – they have to look after their own backs. But there should be some lifting equipment to help them in Ballarat.”
Ms Moroney said the Ballarat crews stayed with her for some time before having to head off to another job. In the interim, family members were available to help “roll her backwards and forwards” until the Geelong crew arrived.
Ambulance Victoria acting regional manager Grant Hocking said new lifting equipment would soon be installed in regular ambulance vehicles.
“It’s disappointing when we take too long to reach someone who needs our care with the right equipment,” he said.
“The safety of patients and paramedics is paramount and we have several complex patient ambulance vehicles available across the state.”
Mr Hocking said like air ambulance and MICA, those vehicles were dispatched when the services are required.
“We are in the process of rolling out new patient movement and lifting equipment for locally based ambulances and this project will be completed by the end of June.”