Motorcycle ambulances of Hong Kong an eye-opener for Paramedic students

Published:08 March 2018

TOP: Paramedic student Caitlyn Chappell with emergency services personnel in Hong Kong. BELOW: Some of the vehicles and equipment which were part of the study tour.

CQUniversity paramedic students had a chance to see some of Hong Kong’s distinctive motorcycle and truck-based ambulance services recently.

The motorcycles are able to weave in and out of traffic while the ‘trauma trucks’ can provide minor surgical services.

Caitlyn Chappell was among 10 CQUni Paramedic Science students who recently took up New Colombo Plan Mobility Program grants through CQUGlobal in order to spend two weeks in Hong Kong.

She says highlights included viewing the state-of-art facilities and interesting historical uniforms and museum equipment at the Hong Kong Fire and Ambulance Service Academy.

“We talked to Hong Kong paramedics about what their training is like … they have a more fitness-based and military-like approach,” Caitlyn says.

“We had an induction at one of the ambulance stations before our observer shifts. We found out they have a strict protocols approach to treatment whereas we have guidelines, and we have a different range of drugs we can use.

"Another difference between the Hong Kong Fire and Ambulance Services and the ambulance service in Australia is that they have strict time limits to respond to the scene and for time spent at the hospital.:

Caitlyn and her peers had the chance to go on two days of emergency call outs, including up to eight cases a day.

“Some of the more interesting cases included a cardiac arrest and a fall from height causing a dislocated shoulder.”

Caitlyn, a distance education student from Gladstone, says the CQUni Paramedic students had the chance to attend presentations by the Australian Consulate-General.

"We also heard from a former refugee speaker when we visited Health in Action, a small health advocacy NGO.

“Thanks to the Crossroads Foundation, we visited an HIV/Aids experience installation and went through a simulated blindness experience. We were put in a pitch black room and had to use our other senses to navigate, while our guide was also blind

“At the Accident and Emergency Unit of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, at the Prince of Wales Hospital, we talked to one of the doctors and had a tour.

“The Hong Kong Red Cross talked about how they teach clinical first aid and what situations they get involved with.

"At the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine, we got a walkthrough of their facilities and gained hands-on experience with their gear, which includes training equipment for keyhole surgery, and different Macintosh laryngoscope blades for assistance with intubation."

For more information on CQUGlobal opportunities, visit