11 January 2022
Mr Craig Emery
Queensland Ambulance Service
Dear Mr Emery,
As you are aware, after a formal selection process, you were appointed to the Queensland Ambulance Service Commissioner role for a period of six months from 7 August 2021. The Director-General’s email to staff referenced “I trust that you will all support Craig in this critical role as we continue to navigate the challenges of COVID and significant demand growth.”
We hope that you are feeling rested, relaxed and recharged since you have been on annual leave from 13 December 2021. We understand the importance of having the ability to take annual leave when you need it.
We presume that you have been uncontactable and that you don’t know that the health service crisis in Queensland has escalated and the Ambulance Service you purport to lead is on its knees. That is the only way we can rationalise that you have not cancelled the remaining weeks of your leave and returned to work to lead an Ambulance Service, a health organisation, through the worst of the pandemic response in Queensland.
To update you (while you have been on vacation), amongst other challenges, paramedics across Queensland have:
The practical impact of your holiday is that three other Queensland Ambulance Service managers are acting up in positions that they are not experienced in so that your role is backfilled. At a time like this, the most experienced and competent managers need to be in their substantive roles fulfilling the role they know how to do. It’s not rocket science. We cannot understand how the Queensland Ambulance Service Assistant Commissioner of the Gold Coast region (where almost half of the state’s covid hospitalisations are) has been removed to backfill a Deputy Commissioner position and an inexperienced Acting Assistant Commissioner assigned to the Gold Coast region.
Aside from the practicalities, we want you to know that there is collective panic amongst paramedics about the current state of the Queensland Ambulance Service and what is to come. This is a time that demonstrating highly visible and caring leadership becomes even more important. You can’t do that while you are on holidays. You can’t do that with your office door shut at Kedron.
We plead with you to show up, show your face, rally the troops (who will be asked to sacrifice so much during this pandemic response) and navigate the Queensland Ambulance Service through this crisis. We shouldn’t have to plead with you to do your job.
We hope to see you on the ramps soon.
Australian Paramedics Association Queensland