The Palaszczuk Government is hiring an extra 108 frontline ambulance officers to meet the ever-growing demand for ambulance services.
With 44 of the new officers having already commenced their induction training, those new officers will be on road or taking Triple Zero (000) calls by Christmas. The remaining new recruits will be out in the field by March 2022.
“The government has already recruited an additional 179 ambulance officers this financial year and now there are an extra 108 ambulance officers on the way,” Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan said.
“Obviously this boost will help address the record demand in our health system and support the government’s COVID-19 response.”
Acting QAS Commissioner Dr Stephen Rashford said the additional positions would enhance roster coverage and continue to allow the QAS to remain agile and flexible in its pandemic response.
“In addition to traditional ambulance service delivery, the QAS has also supported the broader health system’s pandemic response by developing COVID-19 fever clinic capability, providing vaccination centre support, and continuing to support the safe transfer of COVID-19 patients,” Acting Commissioner Emery said.
“We’ve learnt that triage, treatment and transport of COVID-19 patients takes longer due to increased personal protective equipment requirements which help to keep our patients and staff safe, so additional staff means we’ll be well placed to respond to any challenges the new phase of the pandemic may bring.”
The Palaszczuk Government’s $263.7 million boost to increase capacity in the health system was already paying dividends, with the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) confirming that the number of patients coming off stretcher within the recommended time is improving, and there has been a 30 per cent reduction in ambulance lost time minutes since May, notwithstanding a record 628,000 Emergency Department presentations in the September quarter.
In addition, the QAS has confirmed that the most critical Category 1 patients are being seen on time, within two minutes
“The key to addressing record demand in the heath system is more beds and more frontline staff – and that is exactly what the government is delivering,” Minister Ryan said.
“I want to thank all of Queensland’s emergency services workers, who continue to work hard during the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”