A partnership between Ambulance Victoria and CFA will see paramedics respond to emergency incidents from the Barwon Heads and Portarlington Fire Stations during the busy tourist season.
CFA Commander Ian Beswicke, Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville, Ambulance Victoria Greater Geelong Senior Team Manager Peter McCormick and Portarlington Fire Brigade Captain Darren Nesbit.
Since mid-January, both CFA locations have had a paramedic positioned ready to respond at peak demand times as part of the co-location agreement.
This partnership will continue with a paramedic located at Portarlington Fire Station until the end of February and a motorcycle paramedic will respond from Barwon Heads Fire Station until 8 February.
District 7 Commander and Catchment Officer Ian Beswicke said the arrangement with Ambulance Victoria is a great opportunity to improve emergency service to the community.
“This will further strengthen CFA’s inter-agency working relationships, as well as our ability to help these communities,” Commander Beswicke said.
“This will save lives when time-critical events occur, especially during the busy tourist period for these locations, which happens to coincide with fire season.
“It also provides our crews with an understanding of how they can better support other agencies at an incident site.”
CFA has had a long working relationship with emergency service personnel across all agencies across the Geelong and Bellarine Peninsula region, so CFA welcomed the co-location arrangement for these locations during Summer.
Ambulance Victoria’s Area Manager of the Barwon District Duncan Erwin said Ambulance Victoria has a long and proud history working side-by-side with the CFA.
“This partnership will enable timely care and assistance to the community during the busy summer period,” Mr Erwin said.
“We are well-prepared to handle an increase in demand, with plans in place and resources available for high risk days, such as extreme heat and Thunderstorm Asthma.”
CFA consulted its brigades and senior leaders about the co-location request, and it was met with overwhelming support to temporarily integrate paramedics at these stations.
“It is still a busy time for our coastal communities and while our crews are ready to respond to any emergency, we are asking people to remain vigilant this fire season,” Commander Beswicke said.
“People should also be aware of their surroundings, especially as they travel to unfamiliar locations during the summer holiday period.”