AMBULANCE Victoria Team Manager Leigh Nichols-Thompson is calling on more volunteers to bolster the service’s ranks.
“We’re looking for more people to become ACO’s (Ambulance Community Officers). The training is fully paid for by Ambulance Victoria,” she said.
“They’re very well supported volunteers.”
Ms Nichols-Thompson said ACO’s volunteer to go on-call but can pick hours that best suit their day-to-day schedules. People keen to become ACO’s do not need any specialist training before they begin. Uniforms are paid for and so are wages for call-outs to cases.
“Training is done locally too. So even if it’s not Foster, it may well be Mirboo North or somewhere else in the region,” she said.
“You really just need to be enthusiastic and willing to commit to at least two shifts per month and be able to attend regular training. We have eight training sessions a year, which are held approximately once a month.
“We’re willing to be flexible, to suit people as best we can. If they can only work every second Tuesday and every fourth whatever, then we can accommodate that. If they’re able to work more shifts, that’s great.”
Ms Nichols-Thompson said ACO’s need a “reasonable level of fitness” but there is “no barrier to age”.
A driver’s licence is essential, along with “embracing the AV culture”.
“That’s all about support, commitment and collaboration. ACO’s support paramedics in attendance of all cases within their local community,” she said.
“The model in Foster may sometime allow for a two up ACO crew attending some cases.”
For more information on becoming an ACO, call Leigh Nichols-Thompson on 0438 794 035.