Volunteer ambulance officers will be on the road in South Australia sooner with a $3.6 million investment announced by the Marshall Liberal Government today.
Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said that SA Ambulance Service (SAAS) will be expanding its volunteer training program so South Australian volunteers can join the service faster and more easily.
“Volunteers are a key part of ensuring that South Australians benefit from a safe and quality ambulance service,” Minister Wade said.
“We know there is a need for more volunteer ambulance officers, particularly in regional areas, but the training program previously was long and laborious.
“With this funding, SAAS will deliver an expanded and more streamlined training program, enabling a volunteer to drive an ambulance and support clinicians within just seven training days before moving on to develop their skills gradually. This means more volunteers will be on the road sooner.
“This will significantly boost the number of volunteer ambulance officers, particularly in regional areas.”
David Place, Interim Chief Executive Officer, SA Ambulance Service said the funding will enable the expansion of the training program that began in September 2017.
“This investment will allow us to extend the program and improve the quality and timeliness of clinical education across our service,” Mr Place said.
“Previously, the only training entry option for volunteers was to enrol into the intensive Certificate 4 program which proved daunting to many recruits and meant that a volunteer couldn’t step foot into an ambulance for around six months.
“The graduated training program will increase the retention and motivation of new recruits and we expect the roll out will enable us to boost our number of volunteers significantly, particularly in regional areas.”
Since the inception of the original program more than 350 recruits have enrolled in the course as Ambulance Assist officers. Once operational, they can become Ambulance responders, providing a basic level of clinical care before, eventually, becoming Ambulance Officers at Certificate 4 level.
The $3.6 million over three years will sustain four clinical support staff until June 2021 to develop course content and provide 22 education kits, including mannikins, monitor simulations, dummy drug products and a suite of iPads so that volunteers can train locally.
Anyone wishing to volunteer with SAAS should visit www.saambulance.com.au.