The Andrews Labor Government today announced that Sale and Orbost Ambulance Stations will be rebuilt as part of a $20 million investment to modernise and upgrade ambulance facilities across Victoria.

Sale Ambulance Station is 55 years old, and lacks basic functionality as an ambulance station. It is too small, and lacks training spaces, rest facilities and adequate vehicle access.

Similarly, Orbost Ambulance Station lacks basic facilities, such as training spaces which are vital to ensure our paramedics can continue to improve their skills and knowledge to provide better care to the community.

Both stations have a number of occupational health and safety issues that pose risks to local paramedics.

Other branches that will be upgraded include Kew Ambulance Station, Preston Ambulance Station and Dandenong Ambulance Station in metropolitan Melbourne, and Echuca Ambulance Station in regional Victoria.

The Government has worked with Ambulance Victoria to identify branches with ageing facilities most in need of replacing and will announce more ambulance stations which will receive upgrades in coming weeks.

It’s crucial that Victoria’s ambulance branches are safe and fit-for-purpose, as well as comfortable and modern for paramedics who work long hours and often unsociable hours.

Work will commence in coming months on rebuilding both ambulance stations.

The Andrews Labor Government has invested an extra $99 million in ambulance services in the 2015-16 Victorian Budget to deliver more ambulance services, upgrade ambulance branches and provide new and replacement vehicles and equipment. This extra funding will also provide increased support services for Victoria’s hardworking paramedics.

The Government has also removed red tape so that MICA paramedics can now use their skills wherever they’re located, including in non-MICA branches. This will mean better services and responses for Victorians, particularly in regional and rural areas.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Ambulance Services, Jill Hennessy

“We’re upgrading our ambulance stations to ensure they’re safe, fit-for-purpose, and comfortable for our hardworking paramedics.”

“Some of these stations have been around for decades, and if we’re to have a modern ambulance service, we need to have modern facilities.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing

“The paramedics at Sale and Orbost Ambulance Branches do such fantastic work, but their stations are in extremely poor condition.”

“I’m pleased to announce the Government will upgrade our local ambulance branches, which will mean paramedics can better and more quickly respond to critical medical emergencies in our community.”