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Hundreds of new paramedics graduate

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Minister for Health David Davis has congratulated 274 newly graduated paramedics at the first of two graduation ceremonies to be held in 2013.

Mr Davis said deployment of the newest group of paramedics to hit the road would assist the existing workforce in towns and suburbs across the state, and recognised the importance of having people on the ground delivering services to local communities.

“These newly graduated paramedics will give the existing workforce urgently needed support, so paramedics can continue to provide exceptional pre-hospital care,” Mr Davis said.

“Among those graduating are 30 paramedics who have sought advancement of their existing qualifications – with seven flying high as either an Advanced Life Support flight paramedic or MICA Flight paramedic, and a record 23 achieving their MICA qualification.

“Regional Victoria benefits even further with this graduation as this is the first group of ‘home-grown’ paramedics graduating from the Rural Sponsored Degree Program (RSDP).

“This program is one way to help boost paramedic numbers in regional areas.

“When the program commenced, Ambulance Victoria offered sponsored paramedic degree education to Ambulance Community Officers and members of community emergency response teams (CERTS) – all of whom had strong links to their communities.

“Today, we see six RSDP paramedics graduating – these are highly dedicated people who have combined rigorous university study with their paramedic training.” 

Mr Davis said that 197 of those graduating would be placed in metropolitan Melbourne with 77 deployed in the regions.

Barwon South West would be serviced by 24 newly graduated paramedics, Gippsland 12, Grampians 12, Hume 15 and Loddon Mallee 14.

Mr Davis said all Victorians were benefitting from a $151 million statewide plan, which was providing hundreds of new ambulance officers across regional and metropolitan Victoria, and giving an urgently-needed boost to Ambulance Victoria.

“This is the biggest single increase in additional staffing for the ambulance service in the state’s history and Ambulance Victoria is working hard to allocate new paramedics to areas of the state with the greatest need,” Mr Davis said.

“The Coalition Government has recruited 465 additional paramedics since coming to office.

“This recruitment drive saw 28,598 additional paramedic shifts in 2012-13, compared to 2009-10.”

Mr Davis said the Coalition Government’s investment included 10 new MICA single responder units in Bairnsdale, Warrnambool, Horsham, Mildura, Shepparton, Wangaratta, Wodonga, Sale, Swan Hill and Wonthaggi.

“All 10 of these specialised MICA teams are now on the road, responding to critical life threatening emergencies.”

Mr Davis congratulated the new graduates for completing their training and welcomed them as fully qualified paramedics.

“After years of university study and their on-road training, these enthusiastic graduate paramedics now have the life-saving skills required to join our dedicated team,” Mr Davis said.

“They will play an important role in making sure that all Victorians have access to modern and efficient health services, no matter where they live.”

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