Ambulance Community Officers (ACOs) are employed on a casual basis to provide advanced first aid in rural communities where there are not enough emergencies to require a branch to be staffed on a full-time basis.
ACOs have life-saving skills that they develop and maintain every year. ACOs are trained to provide a support service; they provide early interventions and can transport patients. Very sick patients being transported by ACOs can be met by Advanced Life Support and Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance paramedics en route to hospital, saving vital minutes.
In some communities, ACOs work with a single full-time rostered paramedic for some cases.
There are over 430 Ambulance Community Officers providing services to rural communities at 30 designated branches.
ACOs undertake an initial 50 hour training program and this is followed by 30 hours of training each year to keep their knowledge and skills current. AV organises several conferences around Victoria each year to maintain ACO networks and ensure skill levels are maintained.