The Andrews Labor Government has welcomed Wedderburn’s first ever 24-hour ambulance service which will deliver quicker responses to local medical emergencies.
Minister for Ambulance Services, Jill Hennessy, today met members of the new Ambulance Community Officer (ACO) team who are now providing round-the-clock ambulance coverage in Wedderburn.
The former Coalition Government had four years to deliver for the Wedderburn community and they failed to act. This first ever permanent ambulance service will give locals better access to the critical emergency care they need and deserve.
The 12-member ACO crew, who are trained in delivering high quality emergency care, will provide the quickest response to time-critical medical emergencies in Wedderburn. ACO crews are always backed up by paramedics.
In the 2016/17 Victorian Budget, the Labor Government is investing $144 million to fix the ambulance system after four years of crisis and neglect under the former Liberal Government.
It also includes our $60 million ambulance Response Time Rescue Fund to provide faster responses and make sure our ambulances respond to the right patient, at the right time, with the right care with a focus on improving access to care and patient outcomes in rural communities.
A key part of this fund was a boost to rural and regional communities, with the establishment of new Paramedic Community Support Co-ordinators in Wedderburn and Warracknabeal to support local communities including Boort, Rainbow, Hopetoun, Jeparit and Patchewollock.
The Paramedic Community Support Co-ordinator for Wedderburn started four months ago, providing both an emergency response and training for the town’s Community Emergency Response Team to become ACOs.
As ACOs, they now have additional skills to provide advanced first-aid and emergency care for the sick and injured, and, for the first time, the capacity to transport patients to hospital when required.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy
“We are proud to be delivering on the biggest ever investment in ambulance resources for the Wedderburn community.”
“Wedderburn locals can now have the peace of mind that emergency care is close by when they need it most – all day, every day.”
“I also pay tribute to Wedderburn’s CERT team for their dedication and commitment to saving lives since 2005.”