AMBULANCE WEEK: Howard station advanced paramedic Rod Macdonald is also a cultural capability officer.
AMBULANCE WEEK: Howard station advanced paramedic Rod Macdonald is also a cultural capability officer.

More than just a job for this paramedic

EVEN when Rod Macdonald is not wearing the blue tell-tale uniform of an ambulance worker he is still working to change lives and perceptions.

Rod has been saving lives for the last 30 years but for the last five of those, he has been based at Howard as an Advanced Care Paramedic.

Rod is also the cultural capability officer advocating for closing the gap in Indigenous health.

"I advise my colleagues on ways to improve the health of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through positive interaction and respect for their culture," he said.

"(Outside of work)My wife and I have been foster carers for almost 6 years. We foster large sibling groups of Indigenous children."

Outside of work Rod is a loving husband of 31-years with an adult daughter and three grandchildren.

Rod started his career as an honorary ambulance officer in 1988.

Originally a rural fireman in Charleville, Rod did a first aid course at the Ambulance station and loved it so much he switched career paths.

Rod's resume includes multiple stations across Queensland, mostly in the state's western region around Toowoomba.

However a highlight he said was definitely Fraser Island, a love he has passed on to his family and foster children.

"We love camping and fishing and spend a lot of time on K'Gari (Fraser Island)," he said.

"Most recently I went down to Mullumbimby with Uncle Glen Miller and other men from the Butchulla Men's Business Aboriginal Association. We did some training with Dr Arne Rubinstein from the Rights of Passage Institute.

"We recently ran our first Making of Men camp for teenage boys and their male mentors and Dads. The camp was an outstanding success and the changes in the boys was inspiring."

For Rod there are no typical days, as "every day is different and unpredictable" but a highlight is in 30 years "a patient has never died" in Rod's care.

"My career has been personally rewarding," he said.

"Connecting me to life long friendships and taken me to some amazing places.

"With the stressfulness of this occupation I've found it important psychologically to have interests outside the service."



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