Health and safety spotlight on paramedics in Victoria

The Victorian Government’s planned roll out of state-of-the-art powered stretchers in every ambulance across the state has been completed, making work safer and easier for all paramedics. 

According to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy 632 of the new stretchers have been fitted as part of the governments proposed $20 million upgrade of ambulance vehicles and equipment. 

Manual handling injuries have made up more than 60% of all paramedic injuries in the past three financial years.

The modern stretchers allow paramedics to raise, lower and unload patients using a touch finger control rather than a manual lift, reducing the risk of injuries for staff and improving comfort for patients. 

“These stretchers make it easier – and safer – for our highly skilled paramedics to do what they do best, which is save lives,” said Hennessy. 

“By looking after our paramedics on the job, emergency patients will also benefit from better care.” 

Early findings show the new stretchers are already making a difference. Stretcher-related back injuries have fallen from 30 to 12 in just 12 months, and are expected to fall further now that the roll out to all vehicles is complete. 

The government plans to deliver $500 million to improve ambulance response times, employ 450 more paramedics, buy new vehicles and build more stations across Victoria. 

This investment, along with a further $26.5 million in the Victorian Budget 2017/18, is the largest funding boost ever delivered for Victoria’s ambulance services.


Image supplied by Flickr cc: Beth Scupham


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