Paramedicine and nursing students thanked for life saving

Friday 8 Sep 2017

VC thanks studentsThe value of studying at Charles Sturt University (CSU) is not just demonstrated by its excellent ratings in the recent 2018 Good Universities Guide, but by the life-saving skills some of its courses deliver.

This was emphasised by CSU Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Vann (pictured with the students) when he hosted a morning tea at CSU in Bathurst on Friday 8 September to thank three Charles Sturt University (CSU) students for their life-saving actions at a rugby game in Orange last month.

CSU paramedicine students, Mr Andrew Fraser and Mr Jack Keppel, and CSU nursing student, Ms Emma Curtin helped save the life of Orange City Lions rugby union coach Mr Steve Hamson when he suffered a heart attack at the start of a game on Saturday 5 August.

The trio, with Registered Nurse Ms Wendy Baker who was also present, used a defibrillator to revive Mr Hamson, who attended the morning tea hosted by Professor Vann.

Professor Vann said, "I want to thank our students for their actions.  Occasions like this make us all very proud that our paramedic and nursing students were able to render such life-saving assistance in this emergency.

"It's a credit to the students and their lecturers that they had these kinds of hands-on skills to make a difference to the lives of individuals and to our communities."

Rugby coach thanks studentsMr Hamson (pictured left) thanked the students saying he wouldn't be here without them.

"The doctor who put my stints in said my outcome is in no small part due to the way you guys (the CSU students) responded and just got in and took charge of the situation while the ambulance was coming," he said.

"Had you guys not been there to take charge of the situation so quickly, the club members would have got the defibrillator working but it might have taken a bit longer and the outcome could have been very different. So on behalf of my family I sincerely thank you."

Rugby player and paramedicine student Mr Andrew Fraser from Port Macquarie who is studying at CSU in Bathurst said nothing like this had ever happened to him before, although he had helped out with minor injuries.

"The paramedicine training at University helps make your response more instinctual, particularly in a situation like that where you don't have as many immediate clinical options," he said.

Second-year nursing student Ms Emma Curtin from Orange who was on the sidelines of the rugby game said, "You just jump in and do what you're trained to do. I was thinking about it afterward; you don't even think at the time, you just do what you're trained to do. It's just instinctual."

Mr Jack Keppel, a second-year paramedicine student and rugby fly-half from Cronulla, said, "Anyone would jump in and help in such a situation, whether you study paramedicine or an arts degree. But I felt pretty comfortable having done a lot of CPR."

Reflecting on CSU's results in the 2018 Good Universities Guide, Professor Vann said, "Our graduates are indeed 'job-ready' for the professions in our regional communities, as well as nationally and internationally.

"The latest national figures in the 2018 Good Universities Guide revealed the proportion of CSU graduates (83.9 per cent) who find full-time employment in the months after graduation is higher than at any other Australian university. This compares with the national average rate of full time employment of 69.5 per cent.

"The fact that almost 84 per cent of Charles Sturt University graduates find employment within four months of graduation is a testament to the quality and strength of our teaching and learning, including our practical hands-on approach through work place learning both in Australia and overseas.

"The report also shows that not only do Charles Sturt University graduates get jobs, but their starting salaries are one of the highest of Australian universities at $60 000."


Media contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.

The morning tea at PULSE Café at CSU in Bathurst at 11am on Friday 8 September was attended by Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Vann, Mr and Mrs Hamson, Ms Emma Curtin, Mr Andrew Fraser, Mr Jack Keppel, members of the CSU rugby team, and lecturers, staff and media representatives.