First Responders support Ambulance Victoria’s emergency medical response in remote and rural communities throughout Victoria. Our First Responders, Ambulance Community Officers (ACOs) and Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs), provide timely response to medical emergencies in rural areas through early life saving intervention and care of patients as well as participating in community engagement.
What’s an Ambulance Community Officer (ACO)?
Ambulance Community Officers (ACOs) are First Responders, who are employed on a casual basis to work “on call” at either a Community or a Paramedic branch. They are trained to provide advanced first aid in rural and remote communities where the ambulance caseload is low, the ambulance branch is not staffed on a full time basis or where the paramedic is not generally rostered to work with a second paramedic. ACOs are trained to provide a support service to qualified paramedics; they provide early interventions and can transport patients to hospital. Please consider the distance you’d require to travel to your nominated branch, whilst there is no restrictions based on where you live fatigue management is a huge part of this role. If you are applying for a branch that is 4 hours away from where you reside your application may not be accepted.
What’s a Community Emergency Response Team member (CERT)?
Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) are comprised of volunteer First Responders, located in less populated and more remote areas of the state, who are dispatched at the same time as an ambulance in response to a “000” call.
CERTs, working in pairs on an “on call” basis, are trained to provide advanced first aid within their local community and provide immediate care until the ambulance arrives. They do not transport patients to hospital but do provide an emergency response in locations that have a low ambulance caseload and no ambulance station. CERTs are required to live within 12km of the location they serve.
You will be helping people at a time of great need, and know that you have made a difference to their life and health outcomes.
Becoming a First Responder with us offers many personal benefits and opportunities including:
Gain practical life skills and a recognised qualification
Enjoy a sense of achievement and fulfilment
Meet people and make new friends and connections
Enhance your own career prospects and learning pathways
What training is involved?
Both CERTs and ACOs undergo training to gain a Certificate II in Medical Service First Response (HLT21020). The initial course includes driver training, on-line learning, face to face workshops and practice under supervision during workplace experience. An Authority to Practice must be maintained annually with AV conducting continual Vocational Education and training throughout the year at each team location. In addition, Ambulance Victoria offer several conferences around the state each year to maintain First Responder networks and strengthen skill level development.
What’s my commitment?
Beyond your initial training, you will need to be regularly available for response for at least 20 hours per month. Locally, with your team, a schedule of availability or roster is used to ensure continuous ambulance coverage to the community.
Will I be supported?
Naturally, in responding to emergencies in the community our First Responders are exposed to traumatic and stressful situations at times. Ambulance Victoria actively supports mental health and wellbeing in the workplace and offers confidential chaplaincy, psychologist and peer support services to all employees, volunteers and their families.
What documentation do I need to submit as part of my application?
Current résumé with references
What are the requirements upon completion of a successful interview?
If you are successful upon completion of the interview you will be required to complete and be reimbursed for any of the following:
Proof of Australian Citizenship: Certified copy of your Birth Certificate or Passport
Certified copy of your Driving Licence – Green P’s (P2)
Certified copy of two other forms of ID eg; Medicare Card, Bank Card, Other form of license
Certified copy of Working with Children’s Check – Employee (If you already have it – this will be part of the application process)
Criminal Record Check
Pre-Employment Medical and Physical Assessment – Including Drug & Alcohol Testing