LOCAL paramedic Ben Minchin has been recognised as a Paul Harris Fellow from the Rotary Club of Korumburra.
The recognition was a “complete surprise”, Ben said last Tuesday night, with his wife and children sneaking in a backdoor to attend the event at the Federation Art Gallery.
Ben is the third person to be recognised as a Paul Harris Fellow from the Rotary Club of Korumburra who is not a member of the club.
For 13 years, Ben has been an integral part of the local community as the Korumburra Ambulance Service team manager.
His colleagues say it takes hours just to have a cup of coffee with Ben because everyone stops by to say g’day, or even sits down and joins them for a coffee.
But it’s all part of the job. And he absolutely loves it.
Ben recently got promoted to Senior Team Manager of South Gippsland, up from the local team manager of Korumburra, and you can bet you will still see him around.
Paul Dodd has taken over Ben’s role in Korumburra and spoke about the welcoming local community.
Paul had gone from a city branch which was attending 1000 callouts a month to a country town where they might get between 100 and 170.
But out here, he said, it’s very community orientated.
“I’ve been down here for about four or five years and I’ve fallen in love with the place,” said Paul.
“When Ben started here, it was a single officer branch.
“Through Ben’s hard work over the last 13 years, we now have a branch that runs 12 crew rather than just the one, that runs 24 hours a day.
“The response we get to the public is probably ten-fold what it was back in the day.”
Rotary club member and
director of Auddino First National Real Estate, George Auddino, said everyone knew about the announcement except for Ben.
“Tonight’s about rewarding Ben not only for doing his job, but for going above and beyond for the community.
“We all know with his fundraising, the push for the station… he’s always stood there for us, for the community.”
He said Ben’s made sure that himself, or someone else, is always available in “our moment of need”.
Ben was caught off-guard with the announcement.
“I come to work to do my job because I love it, I love the community, I love representing AV, and representing the community and that’s all I ever do.
“I don’t do it for recognition, but I appreciate it.
“I’m sure Paul will fill my boots quite well.”
Rotary Club of Korumburra president Richard Oldham explained the reasoning behind the Paul Harris Fellow.
“Paul Harris Fellow is named after Paul Harris who founded Rotary with three business associates in Chicago in 1905,” Richard said.
The Paul Harris Fellow was established in 1957 in his honour to express appreciation for contribution of $1000 to the humanitarian and educational programs of the Rotary Foundation.
“Those programs include an array of programs which save and invigorate lives of people around the world, and enhance international friendship and
“Now, that very much encompasses the world of an ambulance person.”
Paramedic goes above and beyond for the community