Heartfelt donation from crew

THE job for workers on a major support vessel involved in construction in Bass Strait may have finished, but they have left a lasting legacy at Central Gippsland Health Service.

The crew and staff on board the Edda Fides accommodation support vessel, which provides catering and other services during construction work on the new Kipper gas field in Bass Strait, have donated more than $5000 towards a new defibrillator for the health service.

The defibrillator, yet to be bought, will be available for the emergency department and will also assist in training staff.

The donation came from a ‘rolling fund’ established by Maritime Union of Australia members working on the Edda Fides during the past six months.

Each person contributes to the fund, which is used to support individuals who may, for example, become ill or have family problems.

The residual amount at the end of the project is usually donated to a charity or organisation, and in this instance, the members voted to support the health service.

Local Paul Taylor suggested the health service after one of the crew needed emergency care during the project and was flown to Sale.

“We reason that the health service is the first port of call for anyone working in Bass Strait who needs care, as they can be choppered directly here,” Mr Taylor said.

“If we can support the health service with training, our people may one day see the direct benefit should they need care.”

Central Gippsland Health Service’s general manager for workforce capability and learning Denise McInnes welcomed the donation.

“We train a lot of clinical staff in the use of a defibrillator as it is frequently used in emergency situations,” Ms McInnes said.

“It’s wonderful that the crew members decided to support us and shows how widely our services are required in the Gippsland region.”