The somewhat daunting task of calling an ambulance is now a lot easier for migrants who’ve recently moved to Queensland thanks to the release of an educational virtual reality video.

The Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) has partnered with Brisbane South PHN, Welcome 360 and Multicultural Development Australia (MDA) to produce a 360 degree video stepping people through the process of requesting an ambulance in Queensland.

Assistant Commissioner Metro South Local Ambulance Service Network John Hammond said with such a diverse and multi-cultural society it was important migrants felt comfortable knowing how to call an ambulance.

“We want to make sure everyone in the community has equal access to an ambulance in their time of need and is aware of how we operate and what to expect when paramedics arrive,” Assistant Commissioner Hammond said.

“From the moment they pick up the phone to dial Triple Zero(000), through to when paramedics arrive and their onward treatment in hospital, our patients should always feel safe and respected.

“There are services in place for migrants and non-English speakers to assist them in communicating with our staff and this video outlines that process.”

Brisbane South PHN General Manager Commissioned Programs, Lucille Chalmers said the idea for the video came about after consultations indicated various barriers to accessing ambulance services.

“There are a range of perceptions about ambulance services within migrant communities based on experiences in their countries of origin. Some communities associate an ambulance with taking someone away to die rather than providing medical assistance,”Ms Chalmers said.

“Many non-English speakers don’t feel confident making a call to Triple Zero (000) due to language barriers or fear of high costs.”

The video has been translated into eight different languages including Amharic, Arabic, Burmese, Dari, S’gaw Karen, Somali, Swahili and Tigrinya.

Virtual reality training company Welcome 360 produced the video and co-founder Amanda Alexander said virtual reality technology was an effective and engaging educational tool.

“We do a lot of work with refugee and migrant groups and this was a great opportunity to test the technology in different languages,” Ms Alexander said.

“We hope this will be a really useful resource for new migrants to Queensland.”

MDA Chief Executive Kerrin Benson said the videos will be used in educational programs for newly arrived refugees.

“Emerging technologies like 360 video are powerful tools to support new Queenslanders to settle into their new communities and understand how to access vital services,a skill which many of us take for granted,”Ms Benson said.

“It’s fantastic to see services like Queensland Ambulance looking at different ways they can support new Queenslanders to connect and belong in our communities.”

The videos will be officially launched on 21 June 2019 at the Refugee Health and Wellbeing Showcase at the State Library of Queensland. The videos are now available online.

For more information contact QAS Media on 07 3635 3900.

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