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Record cohort of new intensive care paramedics

March 1, 2024 | in News

The largest-ever cohort of new Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance (MICA) paramedics in Ambulance Victoria’s (AV) history is just days away from starting on-road.

Twenty-nine Advanced Life Support (ALS) paramedics graduate today from the MICA Bridging Program, and commence on-road training from Monday alongside fully qualified MICA paramedics.

AV Director Operational Capability Trevor Weston said the new MICA interns were a significant boost for critical care across the state.

“Demand for our highly skilled MICA paramedics is increasing and it is important we continue to meet the needs of the growing Victorian community,” Mr Weston said.

“We currently have 580 MICA paramedics, and by the end of 2024, we will increase our MICA workforce by about 14 per cent.

“We are confident this next generation of MICA paramedics will make an enormous contribution to our delivery of world-class care to patients across Victoria.”

MICA paramedics have a higher clinical skill set than ALS paramedics and can perform advanced medical procedures including advanced airway management, administer intra osseous (into bone) medication, and provide advanced management of cardiac conditions.

From Monday, 14 MICA interns will hit the road in metropolitan Melbourne and 15 in regional Victoria, including branches in Campbellfield, Rosebud, Frankston, Hampton Park, Tarneit, Ravenhall, Ringwood East, Bundoora, Bendigo, Geelong, Morwell, Ballarat, Wangaratta, Wodonga and Shepparton.

Paramedics Chenaye Bentley and Wij Gunarathne are among the new MICA interns.

Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance (MICA) interns Wij, Chenaye, Eliza, and Jordan.

(L-R): Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance (MICA) interns Wij, Chenaye, Eliza, and Jordan.

Growing up just outside Shepparton, Chenaye has spent most of her career working in the region and is looking forward to applying her intensive care skills on-road from next week.

“The course has been amazing, and I can’t believe the development we’ve all had,” Chenaye said.
“I’m excited for this next stage and know I’ll be incredibly supported by the MICA paramedics I’ve been lucky enough to work with over the last seven years.”

Wij, who worked as a cardiac nurse in Melbourne hospitals before joining AV, said he’s looking forward to providing patients an advanced level of care.

“With my cardiac skillset I thought I would be well suited to MICA and I was lucky to have a lot of support from my AV colleagues who encouraged me,” Wij said.

“I’m very excited to start on road and put everything we’ve learned over the last six weeks into practice.”

A further 50 ALS paramedics are planned to undertake the MICA Bridging Program throughout the year, with about 80 new MICA interns on road by the end of 2024.

The six-week program, held at AV’s Capability Hub in Sunshine, covers a range of clinical areas including respiratory, cardiac, trauma, medical, paediatric and obstetrics.

“Our MICA paramedics have a reputation as being among the best in the world and, therefore, our MICA interns must have access to the best training facilities and expertise,” Mr Weston said.

“We congratulate this cohort on their achievements to date and wish them all the best for this next stage in their AV career.”

Enrolment into the AV MICA Bridging Program occurs after successful completion of the Graduate Diploma of Specialist Paramedic Practice at Monash University or an equivalent qualification.