Volunteers have provided lifesaving assistance to more than 100 people in the Trentham community during the last year.
The Trentham Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers are dispatched at the same time as an ambulance and provide a quick response to emergencies as they live and work in the area.
With the closest ambulance stations at Daylesford, Woodend and Kyneton, the volunteers are often first at the scene for time-critical medical emergencies.
The well-trained volunteers undertake the initial assessment and intervention before an ambulance arrives. Among the medical support they provide - the volunteers check vital signs, deliver CPR and defibrillation in cardiac arrest cases, assist with asthma and diabetes, splint fractures, snake bites and can provide pain relief.
The team was formed as a result of a year-long campaign by local Ethan Brown, who called for more emergency support in the area.
The idea was well-supported by the community. As well as having an ageing population, the town is also seeing an influx of young families moving to the area in addition to the constant presence of tourists.
An initial team of nine volunteers - including a police officer, several nurses, a Country Fire Authority volunteers and paramedicine students - hit the road in March 2020.
There are now 11 volunteers and the team celebrated its first anniversary at the weekend.
Trentham CERT Team Leader, Kim Moiler, said the volunteers worked hand-in-hand with paramedics.
"We give paramedics an update on the patient's state and vital signs while they are on the way, saving crucial minutes when they arrive," she said.
We give paramedics an update on the patient's state and vital signs while they are on the way, saving crucial minutes when they arriveKim Moiler
"CERTs are the lifeblood of our Victorian communities, providing reassurance and support for families on their hardest days, often staying and helping people long after paramedics have transported the patient to hospital."
Hepburn Moorabool Acting Senior Team Manager, Cam McDonald, said the volunteers had done really well considering they hit the road just prior to the first COVID-19 lockdown.
The team members all give up their own time to care for the community and are trained by Ambulance Victoria to maintain and continue developing their skills regularly.
CERT volunteers are trained by Ambulance Victoria to achieve a Certificate IV in Emergency Response and maintain their Authority to Practice at regular conferences and through monthly training sessions.
The team is always looking for more volunteers.
Those who are interested are encouraged to reach out via: www.ambulance.vic.gov.au/community/volunteers/become-a-volunteer/
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