The Andrews Labor Government today announced the six ambulance stations that will be rebuilt as part of a $20 million investment to modernise and upgrade ambulance facilities across Victoria.
In metropolitan Melbourne, ambulance stations will be rebuilt in Kew, Dandenong, and Preston. In regional Victoria, stations will be rebuilt in Echuca, Orbost, and Sale.
The Labor Government has worked with Ambulance Victoria to identify branches with ageing facilities most in need of replacing and will announce more ambulance stations which will receive upgrades in coming weeks.
It’s crucial that Victoria’s ambulance branches are safe and fit-for-purpose, as well as comfortable and modern for paramedics who work long and often unsociable hours.
Kew Ambulance Station was built in 1931 and is ill-equipped for use as an ambulance branch. The station has no secure garage, and ambulance vehicles are stored under an unsecured lean-to roof. The site also lacks training and work space for paramedics.
Dandenong Ambulance Station is one of Victoria’s busiest branches, however its facilities are inadequate for a modern ambulance service. It has no rest facilities for paramedics, and the building is in extremely poor condition.
Preston Ambulance Station was constructed in the 1950s, and has a number of occupational health and safety issues that pose a risk to paramedics.
Sale Ambulance Station is too small to accommodate the service, and lacks training space and rest facilities, as does Orbost Ambulance Station.
Meanwhile, Echuca Ambulance Station lacks basic functionality – for example, the building has a single entry and exit point which means ambulances must reverse in or out of the station which poses a safety risk for paramedics and also slows ambulance responses.
All of these stations will be replaced with state-of-the-art branches that feature spacious and functional garages for vehicles, and modern facilities for paramedics, including lounge areas, a kitchen, training rooms and amenities.
The Government has invested an extra $99 million in ambulance services in the 2015-16 Victorian Budget to deliver more ambulance services, upgrade ambulance branches and provide new and replacement vehicles and equipment. This extra funding will also provide increased support services for Victoria’s hardworking paramedics.
The Government has also removed red tape so that MICA paramedics can now use their skills wherever they’re located, including in non-MICA branches. This will mean better services and responses for Victorians, particularly in regional and rural areas.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“We’re upgrading these stations so that they’re fit-for-purpose, they’re safe, and they’re comfortable for our hardworking paramedics.”
“Some of these stations have been around for over 50 years, and if we’re to have a modern ambulance service, we need to have modern facilities.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy
“Some of our ambulance stations are so old they’re simply not safe, and they’re certainly not fit-for purpose.”
“We’ve provided extra funding to upgrade our ambulance branches and provide new equipment which will help paramedics better and more quickly respond to critical medical emergencies.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020