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We Love Our Volunteers

We support emergency medical response in more remote rural communities through the training, increased treatment options and deployment of Ambulance Community Officers (ACOs) and Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs), and the training and support of Remote Area Nurses (RANs) as corresponders to serious cases. These volunteers and staff provide a faster response in medical emergencies, with early intervention and support for patients.

Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs)

First Responders are volunteers and are dispatched at the same time as an ambulance. CERTs provide advanced first aid within their local community until the ambulance arrives. They do not transport, but provide emergency response in locations that have a low caseload and no ambulance station.

Ambulance Victoria’s standard recruitment procedures apply to First Responders.  This includes things like a police check and reference checks. Initial and ongoing training is required.

AV organises several conferences around Victoria each year to maintain First Responder networks and augment skill levels.


Ambulance Community Officers (ACOs)

First Responders are employed on a casual basis to provide advanced first aid in remote communities where the caseload is low and the branch is not staffed on a full time basis. ACOs can either work in pairs, or be paired with a single paramedic.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.

During the year 670 ACOs were active in their local communities responding to emergencies and promoting health care. CERTs are located in less populated and more remote areas of the state and co-respond with the nearest ambulance to provide immediate care until the ambulance arrives. In 2014–2015, CERTs arrived before an ambulance in 83.6 per cent of cases, illustrating the high value of these teams. At 30 June 2015, there were 27 teams with a total of 404 volunteers

Please contact the Volunteer Services department on 1800 733 574 or 03 4313 6504 to discuss the opportunity to become an Ambulance Victoria First Responder.  Alternatively you can email your interest to