Have a long and rewarding career as a Paramedic

When you’ve been saving lives for 40 years, it would be completely understandable if you were to hang up your stethoscope. But for 60-year-old Mike Barrenger, he is looking forward to continuing on for at least another five years.Valuable lessons from a paramedic of 40 years

A diverse range of rewarding and saddening experiences have littered Mike Barrenger’s 40 years as a full-time paramedic.

Throughout his career with Ambulance Tasmania he has delivered about 30 babies, three of which we born in one 48-hour period and was called to the fatal heart attack of renowned journalist Richard Carleton during the Beaconsfield mine collapse in 2006.

Mr Barrenger, who was born and raised in Launceston, began his career as a sheet metal work apprentice.

After a “nasty” fatal accident occurred in Launceston, he decided to visit the local ambulance station to offer his volunteering services.

He volunteered for 20 months and said he realised he “wasn’t really going to get anywhere with sheet metal work”.

He then joined the ambulance service full-time 40 years ago, and completed further training in Melbourne. An exchange program then took him to work overseas in New York, Seattle and Singapore.

Starting out as a volunteer himself, Mr Barrenger said the volunteers and the after hours medical care team at George Town, where he has worked for 32 years, were a “brilliant” support network to have.

“Over the years, we’ve had hundreds of volunteers … I couldn’t do my job without volunteers,” Mr Barrenger said.

He works four-day shifts, where he is always on call, alongside volunteers with shorter shifts, and has loved every moment of his career.

“I enjoy the job, and enjoy the situation where I am now,” he said.

“Whilst I’m happy working in this community, and it is a really good community to work in, I’ll stick with it.

“We’ve got all the support around and all that we’d need.”

Ambulance Tasmania chief executive Neil Kirby said Mr Barrenger had “diligently served the George Town community in providing emergency care and supporting the group of volunteers who work in the area”.

“In addition to this he has also been an active member of the community supporting other emergency agencies such as SES Road Rescue and Tasfire,” Mr Kirby said.

“Ambulance Tasmania congratulates him on achieving 40 years of service.”

*Thanks to Ambualnce Tasmania and The Examiner for the article.

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