Ambulance Victoria works as part of our communities to deliver local emergency health care solutions, collaborating with community organisations and partners to improve health outcomes.
We can’t serve our communities, save lives and achieve better outcomes by doing it alone. Working closely with community members and organisations, and with our partners in the health and emergency services sectors makes a real difference.
Ambulance Victoria Auxiliaries have a proud history that dates back 100 years. The first Ambulance Auxiliary was established in Maryborough and we now have nearly 800 volunteers across 70 locations throughout Victoria.
Auxiliary members are part of an extremely important group of volunteers who have, in many instances, been the primary motivators and shouldered the responsibility for their local communities to obtain an ambulance service.
Fundraising can be a rewarding way for individuals, schools and community groups to make a contribution enhancing the service of Ambulance Victoria.
There are a number of exciting activities and events that you can get involved with to help fundraise for Ambulance Victoria, from bake sales to sausage sizzles to fun runs and more. The possibilities are endless.
Register the location of your Automated External Defibrillator (AED) with us. This small but important step can help link AEDs in communities across Victoria with people who need them when they need them.
Out-of-Hospital Sudden Cardiac Arrest affects more than 5,500 people each year in Victoria, with only one in 10 surviving. For every minute a patient is in cardiac arrest without intervention, their chance of survival decreases by nine per cent.
Survival rates are highest when defibrillation is delivered in the first few minutes following collapse. Through the widespread distribution of public access defibrillators across Victoria, the “collapse-to-shock” time has decreased and survival rates improved.
Ambulance Victoria provides public access defibrillators to 23 sites across Victoria identified as having high public attendance rates. Among the 23 sites included in the AV program are Melbourne International Airport, the Otway Fly and Melbourne Zoo. AV supplies and maintains the defibrillators and equipment, and offers ongoing support and education at each venue. Follow-up visits occur every two months, with clinical debriefing and peer support following significant events.
Emergency Medical Response
Emergency Medical Response (EMR) aims to improve cardiac arrest survival rates by reducing response times to patients in sudden cardiac arrest and other conditions that present an imminent threat to life.
Since 2001, Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) fire fighters have been dispatched at the same time as Ambulance Victoria paramedics via 000 (triple zero) call taking to a small number of ‘Priority 0’ cases. The MFB response is in addition to the normal AV response sent to the case and MFB EMR responders arrive first to approximately 50 per cent of cases.
A pilot program began with the Country Fire Authority (CFA) with volunteers in 2008 and career fire fighters in 2011. Following this successful pilot, the program is being rolled out to all integrated CFA fire stations.
EMR training incorporates the use of medical equipment including semi-automated external defibrillator, oxygen, suction, first aid kits and cervical collars. Initial training is complemented with ongoing continuing education sessions provided by Ambulance Victoria paramedic educators at fire stations to fire fighters on shift.
Ambulance Victoria’s Emergency Co-Responder Programs Department provides clinical follow-up and feedback to the fire brigades on cases, and assist in peer support for fire fighters.
Remote Area Nurses
Remote Area Nurses (RANs) operate from Victoria’s 15 Bush Nursing Centres, and can be dispatched by AV as first responders in a Triple Zero (000) emergency. Due to responsibilities in their centres, RANs may not be able, nor are expected, to respond to all AV requests. The RANs’ scope of practice is similar to that of an Advanced Life Support Paramedic, with special permits enabling the nurses to administer a range of medications in an emergency when a doctor is not available. Due to the remoteness of their communities, RANs have been co-responded with Ambulance Victoria paramedics since 2005 to provide frontline emergency care and stabilisation in the event of a medical or trauma emergency.
RANs are all Division One Registered Nurses who undergo an annual education and reaccreditation program in the application of RAN Emergency Guidelines. This program is delivered by AV and provides RANs with a pre-hospital clinical framework in addition to their existing nursing accreditation and clinical skillset.
During 2014–2015, RANs were dispatched to 580 cases and responded to 186 (32 per cent). On average, the RANs’ response time was just under 29 minutes and they were on scene for an average of almost 23 minutes prior to paramedic arrival.
In most cases, our paramedics need to quickly transport a patient to hospital and may not be able to provide support to those bystanders, family and friends who witness, or are involved in, a traumatic event.
It is important that you make the time to take care of yourself and to know where you can seek further assistance should you feel it necessary. This brochure is provided for the purpose of providing guidance to those involved in traumatic events but does not replace professional assistance.