Posted on 20. May, 2010 in Victoria

More paramedics are operating throughout Victoria than ever before, Health Minister Daniel Andrews said today, at an annual function to welcome new graduate paramedics to Ambulance Victoria.

Visiting the South Melbourne ambulance training facility, Mr Andrews welcomed some of the 222 new graduate paramedics to the service.

“The Brumby Labor Government has more than tripled funding for ambulance services, and our newest recruits will help Ambulance Victoria deliver even better pre-hospital emergency care to people in need,” Mr Andrews said.

“This latest intake – and I’m pleased to note more than half of the graduates are female – will see the total number of ambulance paramedics delivering care to Victorians exceed 2600 for the first time.

“And in another important first, this intake means that more than 1000 paramedics will be working in communities throughout rural and regional Victoria.

“The deployment of these newest paramedics will give further support to the existing workforce in towns and suburbs across the state, and recognises the importance of having people on the ground delivering services to local communities.

“With the demand for health services always increasing, this important workforce boost will assist Ambulance Victoria in its vital work.”

Mr Andrews said this year’s intake of graduates alone represented $17 million in salaries and training.

“This builds on the more than 300 recruits who commenced last year,” he said.

“Two years ago, our Government invested $186 million to provide 258 extra paramedics to deliver 59 new or upgraded ambulance services in towns and suburbs throughout Victoria.

“That important boost – the largest-ever in the State’s history – also included the establishment of a 24-hour dedicated air ambulance helicopter to transport critically ill babies, children and adults from regional Victoria to specialist care in Melbourne, and the new emergency helicopter service based in Warrnambool.”

Ambulance Victoria CEO Greg Sassella congratulated the recruits for completing their studies and welcomed them to on-road duties.

“After years of study, these enthusiastic graduate paramedics now have the life-saving skills required to join our dedicated team,” he said.

“We have the best patient survival rates in Australia, and while we are recognised here and overseas as innovative leaders in the field, we are always working to improve our services.”

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