Paramedics will again respond to emergency incidents from the Barwon Heads and Portarlington Fire Stations during the busy tourist season after a community-minded partnership between Ambulance Victoria and CFA has been extended.
Last summer, both CFA locations had a paramedic positioned ready to respond at peak demand times as part of the co-location agreement.
This partnership continues during peak times this summer, with a paramedic located at Portarlington Fire Station until the end of April 2022 and a motorcycle paramedic will respond from Barwon Heads Fire Station until the end of February 2022, subject to resourcing.
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 partnership has further strengthened CFA’s inter-agency working relationships, as well as our ability to help these communities, and we are delighted to welcome the paramedics back this year,” 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 Senior Team Manager Ocean Grove/Bellarine/Swan Bay Peter McCormick said Ambulance Victoria has a long and proud history working side-by-side with CFA.
“We appreciate the support and partnership with the CFA which enables timely care and assistance to the community during the busy summer period,” Mr McCormick said.
“We are prepared to handle an increase in demand, with plans in place and resources available for high risk days, such as extreme heat, but at the same time we continue to urge the community to be COVID safe and save Triple Zero (000) for emergencies.”.”
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.”