RURAL communities across the Corangamite region are among those across the state benefitting from dedicated paramedic support.
MICA paramedic Dave Ferrari is one of the first Paramedic Community Support Co-ordinators – professional paramedics whose work goes beyond the traditional role of responding to emergency cases.
In addition to supporting emergency response, a key focus of Mr Ferrari’s role is working with local health services to provide primary care and training, and supporting local ambulance first responder teams.
He is engaging with many communities in the area, including Cobden and Lavers Hill.
Mr Ferrari has been with Ambulance Victoria for 23 years and will be a familiar face to many, having worked with first responders and communities in the area for about 18 months.
“I live in a small rural community similar to the ones I’ll be working in,” he said.
“Locals are resilient and committed to assisting their community. I took on this role as an opportunity to work in my local area and assist local communities, to improve health knowledge and outcomes for these communities.”
The new positions are part of the state government’s $500 million investment to improve ambulance performance.
The co-ordinators provide paramedic care within the community to support existing emergency practitioners and health care agencies when available. They can also provide management advice and response to emergency and time-critical incidents.
Ambulance Victoria executive director of emergency operations Mick Stephenson said delivering ambulance services in remote or low-workload rural areas required a flexible and community-centred approach.
“Ambulance Victoria aspires to give our patients the best care, every time, no matter where they live. The needs of each community are different, along with the challenges of distance and access to healthcare.
“To be effective in rural and remote communities, health and emergency services must collaborate with community partners to prevent health problems from becoming life-threatening emergencies.”