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The Roma cops and ambos keeping us safe this Christmas

EXTRA MILE: Spare a thought for Roma pair Sgt Troy Newman and paramedic Shayne O’Neil, who will be working on Christmas Day.
EXTRA MILE: Spare a thought for Roma pair Sgt Troy Newman and paramedic Shayne O’Neil, who will be working on Christmas Day. Tom Gillespie

WHEN you and your family are enjoying your lunch on Christmas Day, spare a thought for these two men.

Sgt Troy Newman and paramedic Shayne O'Neil will be on patrol and on call during the Christmas holidays, something both men are accustomed to.

Mr O'Neil said he had missed at least 75% of his Christmas Days since he started with the Queensland Ambulance Service 18 years ago.

However, he said it was part of the job description.

"It's usually not too bad - it's fairly quiet in town over Christmas," he said.

"Just medical stuff and the occasional assault will happen, but that's about it."

However, not knowing what might happen next was the reason he joined the QAS nearly two decades ago.

"You don't know what you are going to do next - you don't know what you're going to do five minutes from now," he said.

Sgt Newman has missed half of Christmas Days with his family, which he admitted was a lot easier when he started in the Queensland Police 19 years ago.

"It never used to bother me, but as my family has grown up I would love to spend Christmas with them," he said.

Sgt Newman said he and the Roma police would be looking for people drink-driving, while also on call for domestic disturbances, which said did happen over the holiday season.

"Christmas time forces families to come together who normally wouldn't, and then you throw alcohol in there and old wounds can open up," he said.

Topics:  ambulance christmas paramedic police roma


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