Here at CPA Group, there are as many stories to tell as there are staff to tell them, in fact probably many more! Today we meet Grant Howard, an Advanced Care Paramedic who has been with us for 4 years after 26 years working full time at the Queensland Ambulance Service.

Grant started with us at Hay Point and has worked at many CPA Group sites including Grosvenor mine, Yarrabee mine and the Arrium Iron Baron mine in South Australia.

He is a true professional and still does casual shifts at QAS to keep up his refresher training, qualifications and ensuring currency.

All this experience has helped Grant with his most recent challenge – mobilising two new sites in the space of a little over one week!

In both cases it was a greenfield service and in each case we had only 4 days’ notice to mobilise staff, medical equipment, medications and consumables and an ambulance! And of course, client inductions. All this had to be done with minimal notice to a hard deadline.

As with all mobilisations, once on site the days are long in establishing a professional service and working with our client.

Grant was assisted by some great contacts who could source and supply on time, and he modestly claims: “as usual there was some good luck”.

In the end, we are judged on results, and in both cases, thanks to Grant’s efforts, CPA Group was on time and conforming from day 1.

What is your approach to your role at CPA Group?

‘Always remember we are part of a service industry, providing a service to our client, sometimes do a little bit extra. Be out, be visible, be seen by the workers. As a paramedic you are seen by everybody – you are highly visible. Treat everyone with respect, always do the right thing by people, that’s a really important thought I think. Remember that you are representing the company.

What do you find most challenging, or fulfilling, about your role?

Every site has its own challenges.  It doesn’t matter whether you work for Goldings, Yancoal, BMC, Bechtel etc., they all have their own unique way of approaching their safety requirements and their expectations of us.

When performing start-up roles it is important to sit down with the Client and map out exactly what their expectations are and formulate /modify our processes to match the client’s needs.  Then, it’s important to value add to the client.  When you are pro-active, you control the ‘extras’ the client might want to perform.

From my experience, there is nothing more frustrating to a client than to see a paid contractor not being, or being seen not to be, productive.  This makes them question the necessity of the position.

What I find fulfilling is when I actually make a change for the better for the Client.  Also, when I have workers/staff actually approach me for advice and actually follow that advice.

I have assisted a number to quit smoking, lose weight and live healthier lifestyles.  This is only achieved when the staff/workers essentially respect you.  They will tell you things they won’t even tell their partners or closest friends.  This is important as you might stop a suicide or worse in the future.  You must earn their respect.  Hiding away in the office will not earn you the respect you require, you need to get out amongst everybody and talk, assist and be seen to in actual fact be doing something.

What do you do in your own time?

Aside from the odd shift and training with the Queensland Ambulance Service, I have an extensive garden.  I enjoy working around it.  Also, I am a member of the SSAA and enjoy pistol and rifle shooting.  I now only shoot paper targets.  I enjoy movies and dining out as well.

I enjoy 4wding and regularly go to the beach or Fraser Island (in the summer months).  I also enjoy travel in all its forms, seeing new and interesting places.

Advice for CPA Group?

If you look professional, whether it be uniforms or ambulances, you will be.’

CPA Group comment:

Advice well noted (watch this space)!!!!