Bob signs off after 40 years of ambo service
AN IPSWICH ambulance officer has put away his stethoscope for the final time after dealing with emergencies and treating patients for 40 years.
Father of two Bob Imhoff has been working on the frontline of patient care since he joined the Queensland Ambulance Service in 1974.
"In those days the only qualifications you needed for the job were a first aid certificate and an open driver's licence," the 60-year-old said.
"When I started work, I had to supply my own first aid box.
"We didn't have things like defibrillators either.
"You weren't even able to take a patient's blood pressure.
"You just had to do everything in your power to keep the person alive until you reached the hospital."
Of course, Mr Imhoff said many things had changed in his profession since then.
"You need a tertiary qualification for the job now...and the equipment we use is a lot more sophisticated," he said.
"Aspects of the job have become more challenging such has having more traffic to contend with on the roads."
Mr Imhoff, who lives in Lowood, said he had wanted to become a paramedic since he was five.
"I would see the ambulance officers, dressed in their uniforms, helping people and I knew that was what I wanted to do," he said.
"It's been a job that I have stayed passionate about during my four-decade long career.
"I've loved the work; getting out there and helping people in need.
"It's something I am going to miss."
Mr Imhoff said he had retired due to health reasons. His last shift was on Friday. He said he planned to take advantage of his newly available free time by travelling with his wife, Pat.
Dangerous work for Ambos
AMBULANCE officers such as Bob might have one of the most trusted positions - but it's also one of the most dangerous.
New research has revealed an average of one paramedic died on the job every two years.
The study also showed 30 paramedics were seriously injured every two years in transportation accidents and assaults left 10 paramedics seriously injured each year.
The risk of serious injury among Australian paramedics was more than seven times higher than the national average - more than double the injury rate of police officers.