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"We are coping well with COVID-19 stress," says Greek Australian paramedic

Ambulance Victoria paramedic Nathaniel Zahariou. Source: Supplied: Ambulance Victoria

Ambulance Victoria’s paramedics are on the frontline of the coronavirus crisis; their work is exhausting but necessary and at the end of the day quite rewarding. Greek Australian paramedic Nathaniel Zahariou talks to SBS Greek.

For decades now, Ambulance Victoria (AV) is providing high-quality pre-hospital care and medical transport and currently provides emergency medical response services for nearly six million people.

Greek Australian Nathaniel Zahariou has been working with AV for more than six years as a paramedic educator for the service's branches sharing all the necessary and up-to-date information. 

Ambulance Victoria
Ambulance Victoria
Facebook: Ambulance Victoria

Recently though, the 29-year-old paramedic started working as a Communication Support Paramedic providing logistical support to staff and any other related assistance required. 

He took up the new role when the coronavirus cases in Victoria started to rise. 

“There’s a lot more to consider in order to provide the best possible response, especially this time,” Mr Zahariou tells SBS Greek.

He says it is a difficult time for everyone.

“It brings out the most fearful side of people which ïs rather dangerous." 

Paramedic Nathaniel Zahariou with Bruce the Labrador, during a World Mental Health Week campaign. Bruce is looking after the mental health of AV paramedics.
Paramedic Nathaniel Zahariou with Bruce the Labrador, during a World Mental Health Week campaign. Bruce is looking after the mental health of AV paramedics.
Facebook: Ambulance Victoria

“For those who work on the frontline, it’s harder than ever. They have to make sure that they are wearing the right protective equipment to minimise the risk of a possible virus transmission to the community”.

"Being so vigilant all the time, it can be quite exhausting, but it’s necessary, it’s a challenge and we are coping quite well".

The young paramedic believes that the community is also responding well in the face of adverse conditions.

“From our perspective, everyone is coping and dealing reasonably well with their stress and fear”. 

AV paramedics have been receiving tons of support messages from many people.

“It nice to see and read all the appreciation for the hard work we’re doing”.

Mr. Zahariou's family comes from the Greek island of Kos and he migrated with them to Australia at a very young age. He spent his childhood in Oakleigh, the so-called Melbourne's "Greek" suburb. 

Mastihari is a small town on the Greek island of Kos.
Mastihari is a small town on the Greek island of Kos.
Facebook: Mastihari Uncovered Group

Mr Zahariou has always enjoyed science and been intrigued by the processes that make a human body work. 

“I wanted to have a job that is mobile, active, and, a bit more than the usual, dynamic.”

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