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Salute: Batemans Bay Hospital above and beyond

The Beagle Editor,

In keeping with the spirit of ONE Eurobodalla Hospital I could not agree more that the absolute decimation and consternation caused by the New Years Eve and then so closely followed by the emergency level bushfires on the 4th January has testified to our dire need for one Eurobodalla hospital.

Our geography and the complete severance not only of life saving resources but our team as a collective has never been more apparent then on these horrendous days.

Because of the demarcation of this blaze I can only attest to my first hand account of the events that unfolded NYE at Batemans Bay Hospital.

It is doubtful a full and accurate list of every person whose dedication and skill contributed to our separate but combined facilities success during this devastation could ever be formulated. So perhaps no specific names should be mentioned for fear of devaluing any persons contribution. However there are names of people based on my experience I believe deserve the highest order of praise and I will mention these people below.

I am indebted and have the utmost respect to the roles played by every single person acting in the coordination and deployment of tactical emergency responses and resources. I believe, despite our divide, much of this occurred based in or around Moruya Hospital. It was those decisions and allocation of resources that enabled us all at Batemans Bay Hospital to achieve an exemplary level of care and professionalism.

Below is the map from the RFS fires near me application we are all now so familiar with detailing the proximity of the fire to Batemans Bay Hospital.

Please acknowledge and commend the sacrifice and valor of every single staff member who was aware of this proximity to danger, yet knowingly left their families to walk through those doors on New Years Eve and again on January 4th to do their utmost for their community and their colleagues with the ensuing disaster literally surrounding us. Salute.

Under our pillars of strength and leadership- Lisa Kennedy, Lisa Wilson and Rebekah O’Reilly all remained on site throughout all hours of the night to support us through the provision of the highest standard of care to our patients, our displaced, our vulnerable and each other. Salute.

I especially want to acknowledge our hotel services staff; namely Wendy Scott whose morning shift lasted more than 24 hours to provide nourishment and hydration to all persons under our roof with a friendly face, a kind heart and the absolute highest work ethics. Salute.

To our HASAs- without your support our jobs on a normal day face increased pressure. You each were directly involved in the provision of the commendable standard of care given to every person under our roof on these specific nights. And to Caral Clement your mere presence was a comfort because of your experience and dedication to fire safety and training in our hospitals. Salute.

To our medical, nursing and paramedic staff. You are magnificent practitioners and fabulous human beings. Through the moments of sheer terror, the extremes of emotion, the physical and emotional exhaustion and eerie lulls in time you all shined. Salute.

To our maintenance crew whose relentless efforts throughout the year to sustain our hospitals and especially the manual labour required to test the generators each and every week- none of any of this would be possible without you. Salute.

This is all still so raw. For all our staff who have suffered seemingly insurmountable loss to those struggling to process witnessing this disaster, we will endure. The fusion of our individual attributes of camaraderie, empathy, strength, generosity and ingenuity make this a steadfast guarantee.

Imagine what we could achieve when we really are ONE united Hospital.

Felicity Cropper

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