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New Powered Stretchers Lower Paramedic Injuries

17 August 2017

The Andrews Labor Government’s roll out of state-of-the-art powered stretchers in every ambulance is complete, making work safer and easier for all paramedics.

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy visited Moe Ambulance Branch today to announce 632 of the new stretchers have been fitted as part of Labor’s $20 million upgrade of ambulance vehicles and equipment.

Manual handling injuries make up more than 60 per cent of all paramedic injuries in the past three financial years.

The modern stretchers allow paramedics to raise, lower and unload patients using a touch finger control rather than a manual lift, reducing the risk of injuries for staff and improving comfort for patients.

Early findings show the new stretchers are already making a difference. Stretcher-related back injuries have fallen from 30 to 12 in just 12 months, and are expected to fall further now that the roll out to all vehicles is complete.

The Labor Government has been working hard to rebuild the ambulance system and improve the health, safety and wellbeing of our paramedics after four years of neglect under the former Liberal Government.

The Government is delivering our $500 million plan to improve ambulance response times, employ 450 more paramedics, buy new vehicles and build more stations across the state.

This investment, along with a further $26.5 million in the Victorian Budget 2017/18, is the largest funding boost ever delivered for Victoria’s ambulance services.

Code 1 ambulance response times across Victoria hit 81 per cent in the last quarter – an improvement of six per cent on the same period last year and the best June quarter result on record.

Ambulance response times in the Latrobe City Council are improving, with 77.6 per cent of ambulances now arriving within 15 minutes for Code One emergencies – up from 64.9 per cent at the same time last year.

That means the average response time for an ambulance to reach the scene of a Code One emergency in the Latrobe City Council has improved from 14:52 minutes to 12 minutes.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy

“These stretchers make it easier – and safer – for our highly skilled paramedics to do what they do best, which is save lives.”

“By looking after our paramedics on the job, emergency patients will also benefit from better care.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“Labor has ended the ambulance crisis and is investing in the health and safety of our hard working paramedics.”

“More and more ambulances across Gippsland are arriving at emergencies sooner. These minutes saved can be the difference between life and death.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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