Posted on 26. Mar, 2013 in News

It’s been revealed that Ambulance Victoria are proposing to cut their driver education training program for new graduate paramedics as part of a drastic cost cutting program, Opposition Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Wade Noonan, said today.

Mr Noonan said a leaked internal document proposed to cut the 5-day driver induction program from 2014, forcing new graduate paramedics to complete an approved driving course prior to their employment.

“All new graduate paramedics currently receive a week long driver education program which is conducted by highly skilled and experienced Ambulance Victoria paramedic trainers,” Mr Noonan said.

“Driving an ambulance under lights and sirens with a gravely ill patient requires great skill and there is no way that a graduate paramedic will learn those skills if Ambulance Victoria cuts their driver training program.

“What’s proposed is simply dangerous and will place graduate paramedics, patients and all Victorian motorists at risk.

“The Napthine Government made a decision to reduce membership fees, but it’s blown a $20 million black hole in our ambulance service’s budget and now they have been forced to cut costs.”

Mr Noonan said that Ambulance Victoria conducted a review of their driver training program in September last year before determining they would maintain their current arrangements.

Ambulance Victoria’s own recommendation in September 2012 stated:

“…a move to outsourcing parts of AV’s Driving Standards Program will have a negative effect on the desired outcomes and in the longer term prove more expensive for, and hazardous to, Ambulance Victoria.”

“Last year Ambulance Victoria said any proposal to outsource training would be dangerous, but six months on they have apparently changed their tune,” Mr Noonan said.

“We don’t expect police and firefighters to complete their own driver training, so why on earth would we force our paramedics?

“The Napthine Government must immediately intervene to ensure that this dangerous decision is reversed.”

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