Regional cities and towns home to one operational ambulance vehicle reveal the extent of "flimsy resourcing levels", the Australian Paramedics Association says.
The comments came after reports that a 15-year-old boy who was suffering a serious asthma attack at Bellbird in the early hours of Saturday morning was driven to hospital by a family member because they felt they could not wait for an ambulance to arrive from Rutherford, about 30km away.
The only ambulance crew stationed at Cessnock that morning was attending a job at Wollombi, about 27km from Bellbird.
APA NSW president Chris Kastelan said on Tuesday ambulance resources should be boosted beyond the 700 paramedics and support staff the government announced last year.
"The difference between life and death in these situations is only minutes," he said.
"Paramedics never want to feel as though the community has been let down, and the professionalism and clinical competence of paramedics is at an all time high. APA NSW believes the community wouldn't be amused if it knew ... the delays that may be experienced by a threadbare fleet of operational paramedics and how often in fact these situations do arise but receive no publicity."
The story came to light after the boy's family member took to social media, saying the situation was "not good enough".
A NSW Ambulance spokesperson said the call-out came just after 3am Saturday and a crew was on the road within four minutes.
"NSW Ambulance works to ensure the closest available paramedics respond to patients in the event of a medical emergency, with life-threatening injuries or illness always triaged as a priority."
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