Ceduna community paramedic David Jaensch rewarded with Excellence in Reconciliation Award

AWARD: Ceduna community paramedic David Jaensch receives the Excellence in Reconciliation Award from Ngarrindjeri elder Major Sumner. Photo: Supplied
AWARD: Ceduna community paramedic David Jaensch receives the Excellence in Reconciliation Award from Ngarrindjeri elder Major Sumner. Photo: Supplied

Community paramedic David Jaensch has been rewarded for his work in the Ceduna community with the South Australian Ambulance Service's (SAAS) first Excellence in Reconciliation Award.

Mr Jaensch took the prize at the recent 2021 SAAS Excellence Awards, which was presented by Ngarrindjeri elder Major Sumner.

He has been an integral part of the Community Paramedic program in Ceduna, which sees the paramedics work as an agency in the community with all other health agencies, connecting people to the right points in the health service.

The community paramedics have a close relationship with the Indigenous community and build trust with people who had not previously engaged or sought out health services.

Mr Jaensch said he was "humbled" to win the award, but said it was a team effort.

"It was given to me, but in reality it is a reflection of all the work the community paramedics do in Ceduna," he said.

"We have got flexibility to move in and among the community as it is needed - a lot of other places have specific roles, but we can move fluidly.

"Particularly with the Indigenous community and we can bring healthcare to them as there are some who don't seek it out."

Mr Jaensch, who has four decades of experience with SAAS, said the ability to form close bonds in the community was a part of the role which he enjoyed.

"I really enjoy the work and probably the main reason is, unlike emergency work where you are only with people for a short time - and can do good things - here you can build relationships longer term," he said.

"It is a bit more holistic health care and we can follow through a lot more."

Mr Jaensch said he was able to bring his experience in dealing with the health system and patients to the role, and said that not too many things he saw and dealt with on the job phased him.

A post on the SA Ambulance Service Facebook page congratulated Mr Jaensch for the award win.

"David is respected by all and won this award for his tireless efforts to establish and maintain relationships with health providers and individuals in and around Ceduna," the post said.

"David, as keen followers will know, has also been integral in the development and continuation of the Community Paramedic program on the west coast."