Ambulance Victoria speeds up response times

February 14, 2024 BY

Ambulance response times improved in nearly all local areas, with standout performances in the Surf Coast, Greater Geelong, Queenscliffe, and Colac Otway. Photo: MAT NAPO

AMBULANCE Victoria’s paramedics are getting to emergencies faster in the Barwon South West Region despite facing unprecedented demand.

Regional director Jerome Peyton said last week that the average time it takes to respond to urgent calls is now below 15 minutes; the quickest in more than two years.

“While there is more work ahead of us, it is encouraging our response to Code 1 emergencies improved a full minute and 46 seconds across Victoria compared to a year ago.”

A recent Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services highlighted that Victoria’s paramedics are the most trusted in Australia.

“Our dedicated paramedics and first responders are to be commended for the outstanding care they deliver to communities across the state,” Mr Peyton said.

Victoria’s paramedics are rated the most reliable in Australia, leading in cardiac survival rates and pain management.

The last quarter saw Ambulance Victoria handle its highest ever emergency load, with more than 154,000 cases, including nearly 100,000 urgent ones.

There has been an improvement in meeting the 15-minute target for urgent responses, with 67.3 per cent of cases attended to on time, an increase from both the previous quarter and last year.

Notably, response times improved in nearly all local areas, with standout performances in the Surf Coast, Greater Geelong – where the response time was more than a minute faster – Queenscliffe, and Colac Otway.

Ambulance Victoria executive director of clinical operations Anthony Carlyon attributed the enhanced performance to the increased use of alternative and virtual care services for those who did not require an ambulance.

“From October to December 2023, 38,695 people who did not need an emergency ambulance were instead connected to more appropriate care by paramedics and nurses in AV’s Secondary Triage team,” he said.

He encouraged the public to utilise the Victorian Virtual Emergency Department and other options like local Priority Primary Care Centres for non-urgent health advice, helping to keep emergency services available for those in critical need.

“Other options also include your local Priority Primary Care Centre, your GP or pharmacist, or Nurse-On-Call on 1300 60 60 24,” he said.