Record ambulance investment to put Melton and Bacchus Marsh patients first

450 new paramedics on the road

The Andrews Labor Government will build a new ambulance station in Melton and boost ambulances resources in Bacchus Marsh, giving paramedics the facilities and support they need to quickly respond to local emergencies.

The new ambulance station in Melton will receive a new 24-hour team with 14 full-time equivalent paramedics and a new ambulance vehicle.

Bacchus Marsh will also receive a new 24-hour team with 14 full-time equivalent paramedics and a new ambulance vehicle.

The announcement is part of a record $500 million investment over five years to employ 450 more paramedics, buy new vehicles and build new branches across the state.

This is the largest ever funding boost for Victoria’s ambulance services in a bold new plan to improve ambulance response times.

To house these additional resources, we will build a new state-of-the-art branch in addition to the existing branch in Melton, giving paramedics modern and safer facilities they deserve and room to grow.

The new purpose-built station will feature a drive in-and-out garage bay for vehicles, rest and recline areas, training rooms, bedrooms, modern amenities and fully-fitted out kitchen.

Earlier this year, we announced that we would build a new $2.5 million ambulance station in Bacchus Marsh on a new site to replace the current Branch that was built in 1968. The new paramedics announced today, will be in addition to the existing Bacchus Marsh team of 23 paramedics who currently provide 24 hour ambulance coverage.

Both Melton and Bacchus Marsh will also benefit from the establishment of a new ‘super response centre’ to meet growing demand in Melbourne’s north-west. This centre will enable the flexible deployment of additional paramedics who can support local paramedics to respond during periods of peak demand.

This will make a huge difference to ambulance response times in Melton and Bacchus Marsh.

Ambulance performance in the Melton LGA continues to improve, with the average Code 1 response time of 13:30 minutes in the September quarter an improvement on the 14:30 minute response time a year earlier.

And in Moorabool Shire, the average Code 1 response time was 16:42 minutes in the September quarter, an improvement on the 17:30 minute response time a year earlier.

But we still need to do more.

Since coming to Government, the Labor Government has been working hard every day to rebuild our ambulance system after four years of crisis and neglect under the Liberals.

Now, after two years of investing in and reforming our ambulance system, more ambulances are arriving at emergencies sooner with Code 1 average response times the quickest they have been in five years.

Ambulances are now arriving at 76.6 per cent of Code 1 incidents within 15 minutes, compared to a record low of 73 per cent at the height of the Liberal’s ambulance crisis.

In order to continue to improve response times, our new $500 million package includes:

  • Employing 450 new paramedics over the next three years
  • Establishment of six new ‘super response centres’ supported by more than 200 paramedics to meet growing demand in Melbourne’s suburbs including the west, the outer north-west, the north, the north-east, outer east and south-east
  • Building new or upgrading 15 more branches across the state, on top of the 20 upgrade projects already underway
  • Deploying 225 new paramedics in 22 branches across the state, assessed as highest priority and in need of further resources to meet local demand
  • Purchasing new ambulance vehicles and equipment to support the additional paramedic teams
  • Creating 12 new resources in rural and remote towns with a local paramedic and vehicle, based on a successful model trialled at Wedderburn and Warracknabeal
  • Treating more patients in emergency departments sooner with a $50 million boost to hire more clinicians and open more beds

This funding is in on top of the $144 million provided in the Victorian Budget 2016/17, which included the $60 million Response Time Rescue Fund to improve ambulance response times.

Minister for Ambulance Services, Jill Hennessy, said:

“We’re putting people first, with the biggest ever investment in Victoria’s history to cut ambulance response times even further and save more lives.”

“Response times are the best they have been in five years, but there’s still more work to do. Now we have the system working better, it’s time to invest in new branches and paramedics on the road.”

“In a medical emergency every second saves lives. That’s why we’re ensuring people in Melton and Bacchus Marsh get the right emergency care, quickly, when they need it.”

Member for Melton, Don Nardella, said: 

 “The new ambulance stations in Melton and Bacchus Marsh will make a huge difference to this community’s hardworking and dedicated paramedics and makes room for more paramedics on the road.”