Journal of Emergency Primary Health Care (JEPHC), Vol.2, Issue 3-4, 2004 ISSN 1447-4999 ACAP UPDATE A Message from the President Allen Marr (National President ACAP) Article No.990102 It is appropriate to address the tragic event that has evolved in South East Asia since Boxing Day 2004. We have all witnessed the outcomes of the devastating tsunami on television, with the resulting high loss of life and property infrastructure in India, Indonesia, Maldives, Somalia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Quite obviously, this was one of the largest natural disasters in living memory. A large-scale international response was immediately activated, with Australia appropriately assisting in the deployment of health care teams and other services to help sustain those communities who were affected by the catastrophe. Some of our members and colleagues have been personally involved in these support roles and I am aware of the deployment of some of our members to the actual region. We commend anyone working towards supporting the people of this ravaged area and pray for their continued safety and good health. As a way of ACAP providing some tangible support, the Board of Directors decided that the College should make a donation as a national body to an officially recognized international aid agency. As a basis for the donation, a sum of $5000 has been provided from the College’s national funds, with contributions also being sought from each State Branch. A number of Branches have already indicated their support for this scheme and members have also been invited on the ACAP website, to donate personally through the College if they have not already done so through another medium or organization. The South Australia Branch initiated its support by making credit card payment facilities available to members in SA. Following the closing date for donations it is hoped we will have been able to double the initial figure of $5000, and make a substantial donation to an appropriate world health aid organisation to assist in the rehabilitation of our neighbours in South East Asia on behalf of College members. An exciting and possibly defining concept for the College is the holding of Member Focus Group Workshops in each Branch during the first quarter of 2005. This initiative will inform the National Board on how to best develop a realistic position on the potential capacity of the College to meet the professional practice expectations held by members within the various professional disciplines contributing to ambulance practice in Australia. In particular, the College is seeking input from Ambulance Paramedics and their support personnel, Ambulance Service employers, and Universities and TAFE institutions offering ambulance practice education. Author: Marr, A. Journal of Emergency Primary Health Care (JEPHC), Vol.2, Issue 3-4, 2004 By the time ACAP National Conference is held in Canberra later this year, the College will have redefined the place and role of the “Australian Ambulance Paramedic” as a professional, which will be demonstrated by: • A searched and resourced project plan to develop shared responsibility between Universities and Paramedics for continuous and continuing education; • An agreed membership structure enabling Paramedics to willingly and voluntarily participate in clinical placement and clinical practice standards and processes applied in Universities; • ACAP approved ambulance practice standards and requirements to guide tertiary ambulance education programs, and to inform judgements about fitness for practice; and • A researched and resourced project plan to develop an ACAP Referral Resource Centre to guide and assist Paramedics, Universities and Ambulance Paramedic employers. Most Branches have finalized arrangements and have sent out information advising the date and time of workshops in each State. These workshops will be facilitated by College Director Noel Gillard and information is available on the College website. This is a real opportunity for all members to provide input into the future direction of the profession’s ongoing education, professional development, practice standards and ethics and annual practice certification strategies. I therefore urge all ACAP members who wish to attend these forums to contact your Branch Chair, and for individual members who wish to contribute directly to the future educational and professional standing of ambulance practitioners throughout Australia, to contact Noel Gillard directly through the College webpage. Speaking of positive direction, I want to commend the work being done on the College website by Ryan Lovett and the representatives from all other States. The site has a whole new look and is loaded with interactive links and up to date news. If you haven’t visited the website for a while, may I suggest that you do so soon at www.acap.org.au as there is a great deal of information available. In just a few weeks, the College will be launching a national survey to ascertain the requirements of its members and prospective members. This will be an interactive electronic survey and contact with all Paramedics to alert them of the survey is being assisted with the kind cooperation of the State Ambulance Services e-mail system. The College hopes for some positive indications of what it needs to do to entice new members, as well as to provide for the needs of our existing membership. For a worthwhile outcome however, we do need as many paramedics, ambulance officers and support personnel as possible, to participate in this survey. We are still urgently seeking articles for JEPHC on “Professionalism”. Provided that articles are kept to 1200 words, there is no “peer review” which means the sky is the limit. We have been calling for articles on this subject for some time, and given that there is some very good sponsorship forthcoming from the State Branches for budding authors, the response has been disappointing. Now is your chance to have a say on this much used terminology in the ambulance profession, so I trust that some of you will sit down and put pen to paper and submit an article to the eJournal. Author: Marr, A. Journal of Emergency Primary Health Care (JEPHC), Vol.2, Issue 3-4, 2004 Finally, let me again remind you of the National Conference to be held in Canberra on the 21st and 22nd October 2005. The planning committee is working hard and arrangements are progressing to ensure we again have another great educational forum for our members and guests. If you accept the invitation to access the College website, you will note that the committee is calling for papers at this time. With the conference title of “Something for Everyone” there is an ideal opportunity to share your knowledge with professional colleagues in the ACT. Author: Marr, A.