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AV Ambulance Community Officer awarded West Wimmera Citizen of the Year

January 29, 2024 | in Community News

Dedicated Ambulance Community Officer (ACO) Michael Hodges has been awarded the West Wimmera Citizen of the Year. 

Michael was presented with his award on Friday for his service to the Kaniva community where he worked as an ACO for the past 20 years. 

Michael (left) with his award. (photo credit: West Wimmera City Council)

ACOs are first responders, employed by Ambulance Victoria on a casual basis to work on call and support qualified paramedics in rural and regional communities. Prior to the formation of Ambulance Victoria in 2008, ACOs worked on a volunteer basis. 

Michael said he became an ACO because he wanted to help his community. 

“I joined as I wanted to make a difference in the community, and I’ll continue working as an ACO for as long as I can,” Michael said.  

“I feel honoured to receive the award – my daughter nominated me so that’s made it feel extra special.”  

Kaniva Team Manager Monica Feder said that Michael was well deserving of the award. 

“Michael injects humour and professionalism into every job; encouraging and supporting new staff and sharing his own learning experiences to help them feel at ease,” Monica said. 

While it’s been challenging at times, Michael said that he has enjoyed working as an ACO and serving his community.   

“It can be hard working as an ACO because often we’re responding to someone we know, but it’s rewarding to be able to help a person when they need it most.”  

Michael said it is a meaningful role and encourages anyone who is interested in becoming ACO to learn more. 

For information about Ambulance Community Officers, visit: