TERANG has transitioned from single crew paramedics to dual crew paramedics this week thanks to State Government funding.
Terang is one of 15 towns in rural Victoria to shift from the previous crew arrangement of one paramedic and one ambulance community officer (ACO).
Ambulance Victoria senior team manager for the Corangamite region Greg Seiz said the transition took a lot of planning but had been smooth.
“At a local level, the nuts and bolts of it is we will now have two paramedics on a 24 hour basis providing high quality emergency care,” he said.
“Our ambulance community officers will continue to provide a dual crew to back up paramedics and respond to emergencies with their much needed and respected care.”
Mr Seiz said the changes resulted in further resources, additional town coverage and extra skills for the region.
“Extra paramedics will provide extra care for the community,” he said.
“We will be recruiting additional staff to have four full-time paramedics.
“With more paramedics allocated to both Terang and Camperdown, we can provide high quality care to a wider coverage of the region.”
Barwon South West regional director Terry Marshall said dual crews would be an added benefit to emergency response times.
“As communities like Terang and Camperdown grow, it is important Ambulance Victoria can meet the increase in demand and complex patient needs,” he said.
“Dual crewing helps us meet those needs by giving the community greater access to highly skilled paramedics.”
Mr Marshall said ACOs would continue to support paramedics.
“ACOs are highly skilled volunteers who are qualified in advanced first aid and are often first on scene to provide lifesaving support at emergencies in rural locations,” he said.
“They provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation for people in cardiac arrest, administer pain relief for patients who are a long way from hospital and provide back up for
paramedics and patients who need transporting.”
Local ACOs will remain active and their positions will not be affected as a result of the changes.
The upgrades are part of a sweeping overhaul to Ambulance Victoria promised by Daniel Andrews in the lead-up to the 2018 state election, including delivering resources to further improve response
times and deliver response time transparency.