Private ambulance

Brian Linkhorn - Patient Transport Officer, National Patient Transport Group

Brian has worked in the private ambulance sector for 13 years in Australia, and was previously an paramedic in New Zealand. Here he describes why he joined his union, and why you should too.

"When I first came to the private sector 13 years ago, I got injured. I was having various problems because of the injury, and spoke to my union. I joined, and got the support I needed.

"I’ve stayed a member because there’s very little job security in the private sector. Often people are taken on as casuals, and are told they might be taken on full time, but it doesn’t seem to happen. Companies work around the awards and conditions, and if they want to get rid of you, they find a way. But by being united we have to the power to fight for job security.

"As a union member we also have Professional Indemnity Insurance, which is real peace of mind because in this job we can be sued by patients. It’s amazing how many of us in the private sector didn’t even know that if something goes wrong there’s a safeguard.

"Now private ambos are getting an extra 100,000 cases a year from Ambulance Victoria it’s going to be important for staff to feel that we’re safe. That’s why we all have to join."