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Australian paramedic affected by bushfires thanks public for donations and support

An Australian paramedic working for London Ambulance Service whose family have been directly affected by the bushfires raging across the country has thanked the support given to fellow Australian paramedics in London and to his compatriots back home.

Keiren Rodwell, 23, a paramedic from New South Wales working for the Service in north east London spoke this week to raise awareness about how the fires are affecting communities across Australia – but also the effects on the many Australian paramedics in London. Keiren joined London Ambulance Service straight out of university in February 2018.

Sadly, two of Keiren’s extended family died at the end of last year protecting their family from the fires. His family’s livelihood in the timber industry is also under threat from the fires.

Thanking the public who have donated to the London Ambulance Service fundraising page, Keiren also sought to raise awareness of the long-term effects of the fires as well as the tragic loss of life and property. He paid tribute to the rescue workers and Australian Red Cross battling the fires, keeping people safe and supporting those affected.

This week London Ambulance Service created a fundraising page to support the Australian Red Cross who have deployed trained staff and volunteers to disaster-affected communities. The charity will also support those affected in the longer-term – something Keiren emphasised as a crucial element of the help given to disaster-hit communities, as well supporting volunteer rescue workers.

Our Service has close ties with colleagues in Australia and hundreds of the Service’s staff are from the country and have loved ones and friends who live near the affected areas.

Speaking this week about the launch of the Service’s fundraising, Khadir Meer, Chief Operating Officer at London Ambulance Service said:

“The many Australian members of our team came to the UK to help us serve London and Londoners.

“We stand by them, as well as our Australian emergency service colleagues – paid and volunteers – who are fighting the fires and keeping people safe.”

Around 25 per cent of London Ambulance Service paramedics are Australian. The Service first began a recruitment campaign to attract Australian paramedics in 2014. At the time a national shortage of paramedics in the UK meant that the Service looked to Australia because the skills and training closely match those in the UK.

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