PARAMEDICS GO BUSH WITH AMBULANCE VICTORIA'S NEW REMOTE AREA RESPONSE
The last few years have seen Ambulance Victoria up-skilling specialist paramedics across the state for responding into remote and wilderness environments. Wilderness Response Paramedics are trained to assist in medical emergencies in Victoria’s bush and alpine areas and can provide patient care over protracted periods in challenging locations. We had the privilege of being introduced to this service by Andy Oates (paramedic with Ambulance Victoria) and volunteer with our Bush Search and Rescue (BSAR) team (photo above) at the recent Bushwalking Victoria Leadership Forum.
They respond as part of a multi-agency team which typically sees members from Victoria Police (VicPol), Victoria State Emergency Service (SES), County Fire Authority (CFA), or the Department of Land, Environment, Water, and Planning (DELWP) co-respond.
The team is able to access areas that are otherwise inaccessible. Wilderness Response Paramedics then assess and manage a patient until extrication can be arranged either by ground or air.
This month (June 2019) saw the rollout of this service extended to a group of paramedics working in the metropolitan region. There are now more than 90 trained responders throughout the Victoria. A number of the paramedics involved in the program have a BSAR background. Note that VicPol is the ‘Lead Agency’ in any Search and Rescue incident in Victoria and that the new Ambulance Victoria program is aimed at giving its paramedics the capacity to safely provide a high level of medical support for an injured or ill patient once located. More information about Ambulance Victoria Services here.
Bushwalkers are most grateful for this service in the unlikely event of an incident whilst on a remote bushwalk - thank you Ambulance Victoria!