Ambulance Victoria and the Royal Flying Doctor Service Victoria are working together to improve emergency care provided to remote rural locations.
Under the new partnership, Ambulance Victoria and the Royal Flying Doctor Service Victoria is seeking community based opportunities to develop emergency responder initiatives. The first of these initiatives is the establishment of a number of Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs).
CERTs are based in rural locations that are some distance away from an ambulance branch.
Sustainable CERT models have been successfully implemented across the state building community resilience to improve health outcomes.
CERT volunteers are first responders dispatched at the same time as an ambulance to potentially life threatening emergencies within their local community. They do not transport patients but are supported by ongoing training with Ambulance Victoria to provide basic emergency care services until an ambulance arrives.
These volunteers provide timely response to medical emergencies, with early intervention and support for patients.
Ambulance Victoria organises several conferences around Victoria each year to maintain First Responder networks and augment skill levels.
The first new CERT under the partnership is earmarked for Katandra West, about 25km north of Shepparton. A public information session is being held in the community on 1 August.
Ambulance Victoria Acting CEO Mark Rogers said Victorian communities had benefited from similar partnerships in the past.
“We are delighted to be able to work the Royal Flying Doctor Service to establish new Community Emergency Response Teams in areas like Katandra West,” Mr Rogers said.
“While the population and number of emergency cases in these areas are not high, CERTs can make a real difference to the outcomes of patients who need urgent care.
“We have 27 CERTs and 350 CERT volunteers across the state who give back to their communities by providing provide exceptional care in time of emergency.
“In 2014–2015, CERTs arrived before an ambulance in 83.6 per cent of cases they respond to, illustrating the high value of these teams.”
Royal Flying Doctor Service Victoria CEO Scott Chapman said that partnering with Ambulance Victoria supports a healthier population across all of Victoria.
“Partnering with Ambulance Victoria to provide Community Emergency Response Teams improves access to health care across Victoria, particularly to rural and isolated communities,” Mr Chapman said.
“We are committed to establishing services and programs that meet community health needs and fill gaps.”