A LOCH Sport man at the centre of a stoush over ambulance times has defended the response of emergency workers following a fire in his kitchen fire two weeks ago.
Steven Zacharias was injured after a pot of oil caught fire on his stove, and he was forced to carry it outside.
He received burns to his hands, arms and face, and the ceiling of his kitchen was damaged when the ceiling fan sucked the flames into the roof.
Mr Zacharias is disputing claims that he had to wait two hours for the ambulance, adding ambulance paramedics from Traralgon were prompt and at his home “within an hour”,
He also praised the town’s ambulance community officer, who arrived within about 15 to 20 minutes, and the local CFA, who attended within 10 minutes of 000 being called.
“I live in Loch Sport, so don’t expect services to be here quicker than that,” he said.
“I think they were all fabulous, so I don’t understand what all this fuss is about.”
On August 4, Gippsland South MLA Danny O’Brien claimed that Mr Zacharias had to wait two hours for an ambulance dispatched from lakes Entrance, adding it “beggared belief” that an ambulance was originally dispatched from Lakes Entrance.
Loch Sport CFA captain Dennis Berg said he would like to a permanent MICA unit in Loch Sport.
But Mr Zacharias’ partner, Margaret Desiras, said the couple did not want to sound like whingers, and were disappointed the issue had become political.
“I don’t want to criticise the CFA or the ambulance — they were fantastic,” she said.
She said the paramedics who turned up told the couple they had come from Traralgon, not Lakes Entrance.