Samoa's first qualified paramedic graduates

A 33-year-old registered nurse, who graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in paramedicine at Australia's Victoria University has become Samoa’s first qualified paramedic. 

Apelu Sauoaiga Kaio – who hails from the villages of Satupa’itea, Vailoa Palauli and Faleasiu and was on a clinical placement through Ambulance Victoria Australia in Australian metropolitan and rural areas – graduated this week. 

He was an emergency medical response commanding officer at the Fire and Emergency Services Authority (F.E.S.A.) prior to going to Australia for studies. 

F.E.S.A. Assistant Commissioner, Aufai Alao Petaia, confirmed that Mr. Kaio would be Samoa’s first qualified paramedic. 

He added that a certified paramedic volunteer from Australia has been working with the authority to carry out their training and is assisting the first responders.   

Mr Kaio told this newspaper that becoming a paramedic was his calling and he is looking forward to returning home to serve the people. 

“On my return I will contribute to F.E.S.A. services ambulance team through the provision of safe and the most efficient services for the community during times of emergencies,” he said. “Firstly, [I want to] develop this most essential service to the best as we can to make our people feel safe in our hands and experience no harm in our services.

“Becoming the first paramedic in Samoa is one of my ultimate calling.”

An evaluation of the F.E.S.A. ambulance services including the need to prolong a person’s life are priority areas for the newly graduated paramedic.

“Secondly, considering the systematic approach and to evaluate our ambulance clinical practices to protect our patients, in order to prolong the chances of casualties’ survival before handing over to the respectful work of the nurses and doctors at the hospital.”

During his studies, Mr. Kaio had the opportunity to assess pre-hospital patients, perform clinical procedures as well as administer medication under the supervision of a clinical instructor.

He said this has given him the connections to the industry courtesy of the Victoria University to apply theory in a practical setting. 

The graduate hopes to share his theoretical and clinical knowledge with his first responders’ team at F.E.S.A. as part of the government organisation’s capacity building programme.

Mr Kaio was able to attain his qualification sponsored by the Australian Government’s Australia Awards Scholarship.

His studies began in 2017 and concluded last December after three and a half years.

He is the son of Taugamalie Lafoialeatataotaulelei Satomai and Sauoaiga Asiata Talafu Kaio. 

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