Ambos on job over new year
VICTORIAN Premier Daniel Andrews, Health Minister Jill Hennessy and Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes were all in Nagambie last week to welcome a new 24-hour ambulance service for the town.
The permanent ambulance service comes in time for the busy summer season, when many people will be making their way to the lakes during their holidays.
Premier Andrews said the time was right to take the next step in terms of Nagambie’s emergency service capabilities.
“The population here has been growing year on year, and especially during peak times like summer there is an increased need for there to be a permanent service for Nagambie.”
“We are delighted to announce this service for the community of Nagambie and to assist our incredibly dedicated volunteer staff, many of whom thought they’d never see the day the town got a full-time ambulance service.”
As well as the new ambulance, Nagambie will now have 10 ambulance community officers (ACOs), who are trained to provide advanced first aid and also to transport patients and a full-time paramedic during the busy summer season.
The station was formerly staffed by Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs), volunteer responders trained to provide basic care to a patient while they wait for an ambulance.
Without the required vehicle for patient transport, responders would have to wait for the nearest team to make their way to the site from out of town.
Jaclyn Symes argued that those in trouble could not afford to wait for an ambulance to arrive from another town any longer.
“We know that in an emergency every second counts. That’s why we listened to the Nagambie community and made sure they have the ambulance service and emergency care they need, when they need it.”
While Health Minister Jill Hennessy praised the efforts of the volunteer community teams, she told the Gazette that a more advanced service was required to cope with the increasing popularity of the area to with holidaymakers.
“There are a couple of issues we need to tackle before they become a real problem for the town,” Ms Hennessy said.
The surge of tourism has been great for the town, but also brings with it the unfortunate side-effect of generating a greater number of incidents.
“The CERT teams had been doing a great job servicing the local community, but we need to be able to cater for the increasing number of incidents we might face this season and make sure everyone can feel safe coming here with an Ambulance close by.”
Bec Hance is the Ambulance Victoria team manager for the region, and is based in Murchison.
She welcomed the permanent service following a successful trial last year.
“It’s not only great for the community, but also for our volunteer ACOs to have a paramedic and ambulance here during the summer,” Ms Hance said.
“For them it’s a great opportunity to develop their skills and learn from a more experienced, highly trained officer.
“When we have skills transfer and greater experience for our volunteers it makes everyone safer.”
WELCOMING PARTY: Premier Daniel Andrews paid a visit to Nagambie to help welcome the 24 hour ambulance service. Pictured are (from left) Bec Hance – team manager paramedic Murchison/Nagambie, Phillip Harper – paramedic Nagambie, John Morris – group manager Western Hume Ambulance Victoria (AV), Michael Stephenson – general manager Emergency Operations AV, Tanya Sullivan – ambulance community officer Nagambie, Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria) Tina Davis – ambulance community officer Nagambie, Daniel Andrews – Premier of Victoria, Jill Hennessy – Minister for Ambulance Services/Health, Matt Chadban – regional director Hume – AV.