Immediate funding for Victorian emergency services after an Australian died while waiting for a phone call

The Victorian government is injecting $ 115.6 million (US $ 85 million) “immediately” into the state’s Emergency Services Communications Agency (ESTA) and is struggling to handle the volume of emergency calls, so the organization To rebuild.

Emergency Services Minister Jacqueline Sims said emergency management inspectors are investigating reports of 12 deaths while the service was waiting for their calls.

“There have been eight to twelve cases of being called and resulting in the loss of human life,” Symes told reporters on Monday.

The immediate funding will be used to train 120 new staff to handle emergency calls to enable the service to meet “unprecedented” demand and future spikes. It is also used for workforce management and recruitment campaigns.

“We want this organization to be sustainable and compliant with community standards,” says Symes.

Survey According to The Age and 60 Minutes, some people have been found to wait up to 16 minutes before contacting the call operator. This long wait meant that 12 people, including 4 children, were unable to receive the necessary emergency services.

Symes admitted that the delay was “unacceptable,” but added that the situation had improved since the Omicron wave in January.

“I’m not saying it’s all okay,” she said. “We had unprecedented demand, there was a delay, and we want to make sure they are no longer there.”

However, she said a one-fifth call to Triple Zero did not require ambulance service and could have taken some time for those who really needed urgent help.

“If you are asking for help [and you’re] Do not call an ambulance as it is not an emergency. They aren’t there to give you a lift. They are there to handle the most urgent cases, “Symes said.

Epoch Times Photo
On July 8, 2020, ambulances can be seen outside the North Melbourne Public Housing Tower Complex in Melbourne, Australia. (DarrianTraynor / Getty Images)

Stephen Lean, ESTA’s interim CEO and former Deputy Director of the Victorian Police Department, said the number of calls per day increased from 2,000 to 3,000 about a year ago, and the problem could not be easily resolved.

“Organizations can’t grow 50% overnight, and the workforce can’t grow or meet these demands through overtime shifts,” Leane said.

People waiting for the operator are advised not to hang up and call back. This is because the phone is automatically placed at the end of the queue.

Victoria’s healthcare system is tense under total pressure due to high demand and a shortage of skilled staff for months.

In December, a shortage of emergency medical professionals killed the patient after waiting 40 minutes for help to arrive.

Due to a shortage of staff, Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews began requesting the Australian Defense Force to assist in driving an ambulance in January.

The ESTA review will be released in June.

AAP contributed to this article.

Rebecca Chu


Rebecca Zhu is based in Sydney. She focuses on Australia’s economy, property and education. Do you have a hint? Contact her at [email protected]