A proud history
Since the late 1800s, Victoria's ambulance service has grown steadily with the state's population.
Over decades there were dozens of local ambulance services, which slowly merged over time.
In 1988, the state's 16 services were amalgamated into seven. A decade later, five rural services were amalgamated into one. And in 2008, the state's three remaining services were merged into one statewide entity, Ambulance Victoria.
A branch of St John Ambulance Association is established in Melbourne to teach first aid and home nursing.
St John buys six Ashford Litters in Melbourne, which are placed at police stations. Use of these litters spreads to other areas.
Victoria's first ambulance, a horse-drawn wagon, begins service in Ballarat.
Melbourne's first ambulance, a horse drawn cart, begins work from stables off Bourke Street, at the rear of the Windsor Hotel.
Bendigo City Council begins an ambulance service using horse-drawn vehicles.
Gippsland ambulance service begins.
Branch opens in Prahran. Melbourne service has four horse-drawn ambulances.
Motorised ambulance begins service in Melbourne, responding to 700 of the 4000 calls in its first year.
Due to a lack of funds, the ambulance service relies on council donations to survive. The State Government refuses to subsidise the service in the same way as the fire brigade and police, saying it is not a Victoria-wide service.
An influenza outbreak makes ambulance service essential, with emergency increase in Melbourne to 85 drivers and attendants and 16 vehicles. During the pandemic, 57 ambulance staff contract influenza and four die.
First ambulance auxiliary is established.
Motorised vehicles work as ambulances in Bendigo, manned by volunteer firemen.
Maffra and District Ambulance Service established.
Melbourne's fleet stands at six motor ambulances, a motorcycle and side car, and three horse ambulances. There are 27 operational staff.
Motorised ambulance begins at Yarram, and branches open at Rushworth and Yarra Junction.
Motorised ambulance begins in Horsham.
Sale gets a Dodge ambulance.
Camberwell branch opens.
Footscray branch opens. Four-berth ambulances make mass transport of patients efficient.
Ballarat Base Hospital takes over local ambulance services.
Swan Hill acquires a four-berth ambulance.
One-way radio transmission to ambulances begins via the Melbourne City Council transmitter.
Metropolitan fleet of 27 vehicles is fitted with radio receivers.
The Hospitals and Charities Act vests responsibility for ambulance to the Hospitals and Charities Commission.
Mid-Murray District Ambulance Service is established, based in Swan Hill.
South Gippsland Ambulance Service begins, based in Leongatha.
Melbourne communication centre begins service, using two-way radios.
Ringwood branch opens.
Metropolitan workload reaches 10,800 patient transports a year.
Metropolitan headquarters open in Lonsdale Street in the City.
Air Ambulance begins using an Aero Commander aircraft.
Ambulance officers' training school opens in Geelong. It is later relocated to Malvern.
Maffra and East Gippsland ambulance services amalgamate.
Branch opens in Manangatang.
The first specially developed Ford F 100 series general purpose ambulances begin service.
Five people die when an air ambulance aircraft (carrying a pilot and nurse) and helicopter collide near Moorabbin Airport.
MICA (Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance) concept is trialled to address avoidable deaths from road accidents and heart attacks.
Angel of Mercy helicopter begins operations from the Mornington Peninsula.
Melton branch opens.
Avoca branch opens.
Helicopter retrieval of trauma and time critical patients begins from Essendon Airport.
Air ambulance aircraft crashes on take-off from Essendon Airport, killing all on board - the pilot, a nurse, and four patients.
The state's 16 ambulance services are merged, creating six rural and one metropolitan service.
AV's current Doncaster headquarters opens.
UHF radio introduced.
Cranbourne and Epping branches open.
Computer Information System in metropolitan region streamlines dispatch of ambulances.
Emergency and non-emergency patient services in metropolitan area are separated with sub-contractors providing non-emergency stretcher transport.
Role of Clinical Support Officer is created. Bellarine branch opens.
Duty Team Manager position is created to manage resources in Melbourne.
The Advanced Medical Priority Dispatch System is introduced to the metropolitan communications centre.
A paramedic dies in a road accident while serving the community in Victoria's north east.
Five of the state's six rural services (excluding the Alexandra District Ambulance Service) merge to form Rural Ambulance Victoria.
Emergency Medical Response program begins with metropolitan firefighters responding to life-threatening emergency calls.
Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) begin operating.
Two paramedics die in a road accident while responding to a case in Melbourne's outer east.
New branches open at Torquay and Romsey.
Paramedic Community Support Coordinator roles begin in Mallacoota and Omeo.
Following training, Remote Area Nurses begin responding to medical emergencies.
Victorian Ambulance Clinical Information System (VACIS) begins rollout in metropolitan region.
Branches open at Mooroopna, Ocean Grove and Paynesville.
Adult Retrieval Victoria launches statewide service, managing the movement of critically ill patients.
State's three remaining ambulance services merge (Metropolitan Ambulance Service, Rural Ambulance Victoria and the Alexandra District Ambulance Service) to form Ambulance Victoria.
Two new helicopters begin work, one based at Essendon and one at Warrnambool.
MICA single responder units introduced to rural regions and expand operations in the metropolitan region.
Paramedic motorcycle unit begins work in Melbourne.
New call and dispatch centre in Ballarat takes all emergency calls in regional Victoria.
Country Fire Authority career firefighters join Emergency Medical Response program.