A NEW role is helping smaller communities have better access to healthcare.
MICA paramedic Dave Ferrari is in the role of paramedic community support co-ordinator.
He said a focus of the position was working with health services to provide primary care and training and support local ambulance first responders.
“It’s a really great job,” he said. “I enjoy working with and helping little communities. Being able to live in a small rural area I know the challenges they face.
“Country people can be shocking for waiting too long to call an ambulance. I’m there to encourage them to call for help.
“I’ve been to nice old ladies who’ve had chest pain all night and didn’t want to bother anyone.
“The main targets are towns that don’t have an ambulance stationed. A town like Lavers Hill is very remote so they do have extra challenges. It’s a new role with new challenges.”
Corangamite communities are among those across the state benefitting from dedicated paramedic support.
Mr Ferrari has been with Ambulance Victoria for 23 years.
The role of paramedic community support co-ordinators is to provide paramedic care within the community to support existing emergency practitioners and healthcare agencies when available. They can also provide management advice and response to emergency and time-critical incidents.
Ambulance Victoria executive director emergency operations Mick Stephenson said delivering ambulance services in remote or low-workload rural areas required a flexible and community-centred approach.
“Ambulance Victoria aspires to give our patients the best care, every time, no matter where they live,” he said.
“To be effective in rural and remote communities, health and emergency services must collaborate with community partners to prevent health problems from becoming life-threatening emergencies.”