Seymour resident Tony Hubbard and Member for Northern Victoria Tania Maxwell have created a petition to call on greater on-call ambulance resourcing in Seymour.
The call comes after Mr Hubbard lost his wife while waiting nearly 45 minutes for an ambulance.
Mr Hubbard said Seymour’s one overnight ambulance had been sent to Melbourne with a patient while ambulances eventually arrived from Yea and Nagambie.
“We’ve got four ambulances sitting in the station and 15 paramedics in the town, yet we only have two paramedics and one ambulance on at night,” he said.
“I’m not going to let go of it until something’s done.”
The petition draws the attention of the Legislative Council to three key factors in ambulance resourcing in Seymour and calls on the Victorian Government to restore on-call ambulance services in Seymour in addition to current resourcing.
The petition points out ‘the need for equitable services to respond to the health needs of regional Victorians, the existence of four ambulances at Seymour station but the rostering of only one crew overnight, and the impact that leaves residents vulnerable and without an available ambulance response within the 15-minute Code 1 target’.
Ms Maxwell said the petition is in no way a slight on the work of paramedics.
“Our paramedics do an outstanding and incredible job,” she said.
“This is about inadequate resourcing and the system. The system is, very sadly, failing members of many communities.
“This isn’t an individual crisis we’re having, this is happening in many more shires and something I believe is unacceptable.”
Around 450 signatures had already been collected over the weekend.
Ambulance Victoria Hume regional director Matt Chadban said when peaks in patient demand occur, ambulances can be redeployed into other areas while other paramedics and first responders are called upon.
“We’re continuing to invest in a range of locally-based initiatives for Seymour residents, including working with community groups to improve the availability of automated external defibrillators throughout the Seymour area, developing greater awareness of the benefits of CPR training and use of the GoodSAM app, that will help improve survival rates for the most critically ill patients,” he said.
The petition is available signed at Seymour businesses and online at parliament.vic.gov.au/council/petitions/electronic-petitions/view-e-petitions/details/12/177
By Jackson Russell, North Central Review