Ambulance response times are improving

By Laura Briggs

Paramedics are working hard to improve response times for Victorians.

Following the recent release of an Ambulance Victoria Performance report, statistics have displayed an overall decrease in response times throughout Victoria.

Hume Regional Director Matt Chadban said the faster responses had been made possible due to recent investment of $500million being used to provide extra vehicles, new resources, and new and upgraded ambulance branches.

Ambulance Victoria has two official response time targets; they aim to respond to code 1 incidents (code 1 incidents require urgent paramedic and hospital care, based on information available at time of call) within 15 minutes for 85 per cent of incidents state-wide, and they aim to respond to code 1 incidents within 15 minutes for 90 per cent of incidents in centres with populations of more than 7500.

While the latest report shows that 84.4 per cent of code 1 incidents in Greater Shepparton were responded to within 15 minutes compared to the 85.3 per cent 12 months ago, Greater Shepparton’s response times are quicker than surrounding areas.

Although the region’s code 1 response times have increased from an average of 10 minutes and 37 seconds 12 months ago, to 11 minutes and two seconds in the latest quarter, code 2 incidents (code 2 incidents are acute and time sensitive, but do not require a lights and sirens response) response times have decreased. The latest report showed that the average response time of 23 minutes and 44 seconds was reduced to 22 minutes and 45 seconds.

Mr Chadban said it was good to see code 2 response times improve in the Greater Shepparton area, but that Ambulance Victoria aimed to shave time off all calls.

‘‘Our aim is to give every patient the best care, every time. Improved response times are leading to improved patient outcomes, especially for cardiac arrest, stroke and trauma patients.’’