Paramedics are celebrating news that emergency response times in Victoria continue to improve after their successful Code Red campaign to fix Victoria’s ambulance crisis.

New Victorian Government ambulance data for the September 2017 quarter show 79.5% of Code 1 callouts are responded to within 15 minutes, up on 76.6% a year earlier.

Response times were at their worst under the Napthine Liberal Government where just 71.8% of Code 1 calls were responded to in 15 minutes. This improvement since came despite significant workload increases including the unprecedented winter influenza outbreak and thunderstorm asthma.

Victorian paramedics and their union have been deeply engaged in efforts to improve emergency response times via the Victorian Government’s Ambulance Performance Consultative Committee.

These improvements came after Victorian paramedics fought a high profile community and political campaign in the lead up to the 2014 state election to improve emergency responses times and demand the government value their work.

Union members were angry that despite being Australia’s highest trained paramedics, they were also our lowest paid. In 2016, a Andrews government-supported work value at the Fair Work Commission case delivered significant wage increases for Victorian paramedics.

Quotes attributable to Steve McGhie, Secretary of Ambulance Employees Australia - Victoria:

“At the peak of the ambulance crisis in 2014 just 71.8% of Code 1 calls were reached within 15 minutes. Instead of working with paramedics to improve emergency response times and valuing their work, the Napthine Liberal Government declared war on Victoria’s ambos.

“The Andrews government’s approach has been the polar opposite. They have sat down with paramedics and listened to how we can reduce the caseload of Code 1 emergencies so we can respond to emergencies faster. Premier Andrews also supported our work value case that helped ensure Victorian ambos are paid a professional wage for their critical life-saving skills.

“Our Code Red campaign was about fixing the crisis in Victoria’s ambulance service, and we are doing just that. Paramedics are now getting to emergencies quicker, and saving more lives. Our members could not be prouder.”

“We will continue to work with the State Government and Ambulance Victoria to improve response times and build a better ambulance service for all Victorians.”


Media Contact: Steve McGhie 0425 755 906