THE Hunter arm of NSW Ambulance is in disarray with two of its most senior managers, a husband and wife team, under investigation.
Kerry and Robert Akester, Hunter Zone 1 and Hunter Zone 2 managers, have both been replaced this month from their jobs overseeing NSW Ambulance stations from Newcastle to Murrurundi.
The Newcastle Herald understands there are several investigations under way into the operations of the NSW Ambulance service in the Hunter.
Two Sydney barristers, based at an inner-city Newcastle hotel, have interviewed more than a dozen past and present paramedics this month.
A paramedic said some officers had been interviewed for more than four hours as part of a wide-ranging investigation.
"People are sick to death of what's been going on in the Hunter and they just hope things will change," he said.
"There have been many complaints made over the years and for too long there has been the belief that they have fallen on deaf ears or not been investigated fully."
The Australian Paramedics Association NSW (APANSW) state president Chris Kastelan confirmed members had reported cultural problems in the Hunter for years.
Mr Kastelan said the newly-appointed boss of the Hunter arm of the ambulance service, Inspector Jordan Emery, had listened and was taking swift action.
"We're happy and satisfied that it appears as though the issues in the Hunter are finally being investigated," he said.
"The new inspector, Jordan Emery, appears genuine, has seen the culture and wants things to change."
It's understood an email was sent to staff informing them of replacements for the Akesters, but it's unknown how long they will be off duty.
NSW Ambulance refused to answer a range of questions in relation to the investigations.
"NSW Ambulance does not comment on matters relating to the individual working arrangements of staff," a spokeswoman said.
The Newcastle Herald was unable to contact the Akesters.
Kerry Akester has been Hunter Zone 1 manager since November 2016, overseeing stations in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie.
Robert Akester has been a zone manager for seven years and was overseeing stations from Maitland to Murrurundi.
As NSW Ambulance Deputy Director of Clinical Operations, Inspector Emery is the most senior officer in the region, followed by the two zone managers.
Earlier this month, Inspector Emery outlined plans to review the Hunter ambulance service and address "workplace grievances".
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