ACO and Paramedic Crewing Controls in Loddon Mallee

Congratulations to our Loddon Mallee members who stood together and demanded change.

Members voiced concerns about their health and safety, and their ability to meet the new Patient Assessment standards on shifts in Bendigo where AV was rostering ACO’s to work shifts that should have had dual Paramedic crewing.

Our ACO members are the backbone of small regional communities where the workload does not support a dual Paramedic crew.  But due to the EBA, AV has been utilising a loophole allowing ACO’s to be rostered into Bendigo shifts as a “last resort”

ACO’s were being asked to leave the rural communities where they do such a great job and fill ALS shifts in Bendigo placing hugely increased stress and responsibility on our Paramedic members who are unable to “pause and plan” clinical treatments with an ALS partner. Not to mention a raft of other health, safety training and experience that AV has not provided ACO’s in order to cope with busy regional centre challenges.

Due to these Loddon Mallee members fighting the good fight new policy will be in place protecting ACO’s and Paramedics from the 6th November (attached).

Most importantly as of the 6th November:

  • RDM’s have to follow a flow chart of measures to find a Paramedic for the shift before an ACO can be offered the shift.
  • Any ACO’s asked to work in Bendigo will have the reassurance of an experienced Paramedic partner.
  • Composite ACO: Paramedic crews will be offered a 20 min code 1 warning at start of shift together to set expectations for the shift and complete a First Responder Operational Shift Checklist (below).
  • RDM’s will inform DM of composite crewing and that composite crews may request back up for any cases deemed necessary and if request the back-up is to be provided if available.
  • ACO familiarisation sessions to be conducted across Region to ensure ACO’s proficient with key equipment used by Paramedics. ie Zoll monitor
  • RDM to discuss concerns with Paramedic and ACO.

Unfortunately at this stage these controls are not available state wide. If your region does not provide this level of support please contact at AEAV on 9287 1713 or at [email protected]

Emergency Filling Flowchart

First Responder Operational Shift Checklist 


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