AEAV has had meetings with paramedics in central Victoria over recent weeks to discuss issues surrounding the use of Ambulance Community Officers (ACOs) to fill paramedic shifts at 24 hr branches. During the meetings paramedics raised concerns related to the increased dependence of AV to use ACOs and the lack of controls in place to protect the health and safety of ACOs and paramedics. The full extent of the issue is evidenced by the fact that almost 30 individual paramedics have attended and spoken up.
Members reached out to AEAV after a significant increase in this practice and the failure of AV, to date, to acknowledge the impact on staff. Their concerns have been dismissed for too long. The line of “There wouldn’t be a problem if paramedics just turned up to their shifts” shows a lack of understanding of the broader issues.
The group has now secured a meeting with the Loddon Mallee RMT where ACOs and paramedics will be able to safely speak up with committed representation at their side. The group have also worked through ideas for controls that could be implemented to protect ACOs and paramedics. The members will present their ideas to management and we will call on the RMT to commit to continued consultation with all parties affected by this practice.
We will continue to fight side by side with paramedics and ACOs until they get the support they deserve to ensure a safe workplace for all.
If you wish to be involved please contact us via email at [email protected] or phone 9287 1713 or 0431 443 118.