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New paramedic support for remote communities

July 9, 2018 | in Community News, News

Several remote communities across the state have dedicated paramedic support for the first time.

Ambulance Victoria now has 10 Paramedic Community Support Coordinators, with the latest working with isolated communities in the Upper Hume, Southern Hume, West Gippsland, Corangamite, Southern Grampians and West Wimmera areas of the state.

A further six new Paramedic Community Support Coordinators will be added in September 2018, bringing the total number of positions across the state to 16.

Paramedic Community Support Coordinators are professional paramedics whose work goes beyond the traditional role of responding to emergency cases.

In addition to supporting emergency response, a key focus of their role is working with other local health services in the provision of primary care and training and supporting local ambulance to meet the community’s health needs.

Ambulance Victoria Executive Director Emergency Operations Mick Stephenson said delivering ambulance services in remote or low-workload rural areas required a flexible and community-centred approach.

“Ambulance Victoria aspires to give our patients the best care, every time, no matter where they live. The needs of each community are different, along with the challenges of distance and access to healthcare,” Mr Stephenson said.

“To be effective in rural and remote communities, health and emergency services must collaborate with community partners to prevent health problems from becoming life-threatening emergencies.

“Paramedic Community Support Coordinators provide training and support to first responders, deliver community education programs and build partnerships with other health care and emergency providers.

“Paramedic Community Support Coordinators work with local communities to tailor plans and arrangements to build community resilience and preparedness for medical emergencies.”

Paramedic Community Support Coordinators provide paramedic care within the community in support of existing emergency practitioners and health care agencies when available. They can also provide management advice and response to emergency and time-critical incidents.

The addition of 12 new Paramedic Community Support Coordinators are part of the Victorian Government’s $500 million investment to improve ambulance performance.

Paramedic Community Support Coordinators have worked in Mallacoota and Omeo in East Gippsland for more than 10 years and in north-western Victoria at Wedderburn and Hopetoun since 2016.

The latest six Paramedic Community Support Coordinators are engaging with many communities across the state including Chiltern, Bethanga, Walwa, Mitta Mitta, Eildon, Marysville, Woods Point, Neerim South, Lavers Hill, Cobden, Harrow, Balmoral, Dartmoor, Glenthompson and Penshurst.

A further six new Paramedic Community Support Coordinators will be added in September, bringing the total number of positions across the state to 16.