New ambulance service to support rural south-west towns

A new ambulance service will be established to support the rural communities in the south-west as part of a state government funding package.

Under the plan, Harrow, Balmoral, Coleraine, Dartmoor, Glenthompson and Penshurst will receive a paramedic community support co-ordinator and vehicle.

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.

The new service is due to begin September 2018.

Member for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford it would make a big difference to ambulance response times in those areas.

“Local families in Harrow, Balmoral, Coleraine, Dartmoor, Glenthompson and Penshurst can look forward to the peace of mind that emergency care is close by when they need it most.”

“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.”

The announcement is part of a $500 million package that includes employing 450 new paramedics over the next three years, establishing six “super response centres” in Melbourne suburbs, building or upgrading more than 15 branches across the state and buying new vehicles.

The state government said the funding was on top of the $144 million provided in the Victorian Budget 2016/17, which included the $60 million Response Time Rescue Fund to improve ambulance response times.

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