HERE TO HELP: Volunteer first aid officers Olivia Turner and Mitchell Kelly with Suzanne Messmer, Recruiting Officer
HERE TO HELP: Volunteer first aid officers Olivia Turner and Mitchell Kelly with Suzanne Messmer, Recruiting Officer Jann Houley

Helping hands keep Rocky safe

MITCHELL Kelly works in retail by day, but on Friday and Saturday nights can be found ensuring the safety of partygoers in the Rockhampton CBD.

Mr Kelly volunteers with the Safe Night Out organisation, which aims to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence in the city.

"I like to help people, but I'm also very clinical and enjoy challenging situations," he said.

"While I'm helping someone, I'm also thinking about how to get them out of this situation and into the ambulance."

It's this skill set which encouraged him to get involved with another, fledgling organisation, which offers first aid options for local events organisers.

Central Queensland First Aid Volunteers has been in operation for little over a year but its members have already attended numerous events such as CapriCon at the Showgrounds.

Olivia Turner, who attended the popular event, said there were only a few minor incidents.

She volunteers with CQFAV while studying paramedic sciences at CQUniversity.

"This helps me get personal experience before moving on to the professional experience," she said.

CQFAV 'first aiders' are typically paramedics, teachers, security guards, sports coaches or others who already hold a first aid and CPR certificate.

They have the option to undertake further medic training with the association's training arm which offers advanced modules.

Volunteers have attended the Rockhampton Show, the Food and Wine festival, the River Run as well as events at the Great Western Hotel.

The initiative was begun by a paramedic from Murgon in Queensland's South Burnett region in response to the community's need to safeguard public health during community events.

It also allows a greater number of community organisations, which have to provide first aid as part of their insurance arrangements, to offer family-friendly fun around the state.

With only eight or nine members on its books, CQFAV would like to hear from volunteers who have current first aid qualifications.

CQFAV is funded by donations and its committee are always on the lookout for government grants, or private support in procuring equipment, such as another AED (defrib) machine.

Central Qld First Aid Volunteers

Recruitment Officer, Suzanne Messmer

Phone 0439 726 809 or email joinus@cqfav.com.au