By Ewen McRae
More than 30 years after she helped blaze a path for female paramedics in Victoria, Georgie Hall has called it a day.
Ms Hall was one of the first women in Victoria to be admitted to the paramedic training program, which was only open to men up until 1988.
The Sunshine senior team manager retired last week after a long and distinguished career with Ambulance Victoria, but she reflected that it very nearly never happened.
“They had to pass a law to allow women to apply, something about lifting, so when that happened I was the third in Victoria to be accepted,” Ms Hall said.
“I was already doing nursing, and someone who I knew through squash and the husband of someone I used to work with nagged me to apply.
“You won’t believe this, but I had no idea what paramedics did. I didn’t realise until I started just what was involved, but since then I’ve absolutely loved it.”
While she may have entered the role with little expectation of what was involved, she said the job soon captivated her.
“I really liked the idea that it was two of you making the decision for a patient,” she said.
“You’re always learning, and the training that you get always kept things interesting. It’s a rewarding job as well, the main thing is that you are helping people, which is what it’s all about.”
After a few years jumping between various branches, Ms Hall settled at Sunshine in 1991, before becoming a team manager in 1995.
“It’s been fantastic and the community have been great to me,” she said.
“It’s a multicultural area, it’s diverse, it certainly throws challenges at you, but it’s amazing to be a part of it.
“Coaching and developing my staff has been very rewarding too, they’ve gone on to do some great things. And getting this new facility here in Sunshine, that took 15 years to get, so that’s probably my legacy I suppose.”
Ms Hall, who’s husband is also an ambulance officer, said there was any number of highlights from her long career, but one stands out.
“My husband and I delivered a baby together down in Braybrook,” she said.
“He’d delivered a few, but that was my first one so it was pretty special.”
Ms Hall said she plans to travel in retirement before jumping into some volunteer work.