Ambulance boost for rural areas

A new ambulance response service, expected to strongly boost rural response times, will be rolled out in the Ararat, Golden Plains and Corangamite shires over the next two years.

The new service, based on a successful model trialled at Wedderburn and Warracknabeal earlier this year, will feature a paramedic community support co-ordinator and vehicle.

The new service is part of a $500 million five-year investment to employ 450 more paramedics, buy new vehicles and build new branches across the state. 

The service will be established to support the small rural communities of Lake Bolac, Dereel, Lismore and Meredith.

The paramedic community support coordinator will be an experienced paramedic who can provide a local emergency response, while also training and supervising local volunteer teams who can respond to incidents.

The new service is scheduled to commence by September 2018.

Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard said the new model of care would give residents peace of mind and ensure quicker response times during emergencies. 

“Local families in Dereel and Meredith can look forward to the peace of mind that emergency care is close by when they need it most,” Mr Howard said. 

“This is an exciting new model for regional and rural communities where a professional paramedic is providing better access to critical care and training-up dedicated local volunteers to respond to emergencies.”