Twenty Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel will begin training with Ambulance Victoria tomorrow, as troops prepare to partner with paramedics against the state’s growing COVID-19 health crisis.
Premier Daniel Andrews says the partnership will expand Ambulance Victoria’s response capabilities by providing personnel where required to act as a second paramedic crew member.
“If we all follow the rules – we’ll get through this. But those Victorians who do get sick should be assured we have a strong last line of defence, working around the clock to keep you and your families safe,” the Premier said.
Ambulance Victoria has provided important surge support during the pandemic, with more than 200 third-year paramedic students and graduates on alternative duties now assisting with contact tracing.
“To every member of our massive team who is fighting this deadly virus every day – I thank you. Every Victorian has the chance to thank them too, by staying apart, wearing a mask and if you’re sick getting tested,” said Mr Andrews.
“We have over 4,000 current and retired nurses and midwives who have put up their hand to be part of Victoria’s pandemic response and the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation has carried out workshops with nurses eager to return to the workforce.”
He said Victoria now had over 800 skilled healthcare professionals from the Working for Victoria ‘Health Portal’ contracted to work in health services and other health care settings across the state, with hundreds more ready to be deployed.
“We never want our paramedics to have to choose between a coronavirus case or another serious health condition – whether it’s fast tracking recruitment or more support on the way from the ADF, they won’t have to,” said Health Minister, Jenny Mikakos.