Andrews government must bring Ambulance Victoria into line over paramedic suffering

Ambulance Victoria’s focus on cutbacks and so called ‘KPIs’ at all costs has left paramedics feeling like they are just “a bum in a seat” according to Ambulance Employees Australia Victoria (AEAV) Secretary Brett Adie.

Studies highlighted yesterday in a report by the ABC have shown that exposure to trauma is not the only cause of mental health problems for paramedics.

Mr Adie said Ambulance Victoria’s (AV) focus on arbitrarily set targets have left paramedics feeling expendable.

“If AV Management’s focus on KPI’s is in response to government pressure then the government needs to look more closely at the impact.” he said.

“Paramedics regularly feel pressured to attend jobs where they don’t feel safe just to keep average response times down.

“The unrelenting focus on KPIs and the AV ‘brand’ results in paramedics not speaking up when they feel at risk. They know that if they speak up they can be pushed out and replaced with someone else who is too scared to speak up.

“Speaking up in AV is a career killer. Staff are labelled as a ‘problem child’ by some managers and retribution is hanging over everyone’s head,” he said.

“Culturally AV is living in the dark ages. The ‘boys club’ is rife and the message to AV staff is suck it up or we will find someone who will.”

Mr Adie called on the Andrews Government and Minister Martin Foley to step in and stop the rot in AV.

“We need the Minister to reign in his department before more damage is done. Paramedics and the community need action now.

“Substantive change will not happen until the government holds Ambulance Victoria accountable, to stop the rhetoric and value each individual paramedic,” Mr Adie said.

Ambulance Employees Australia Victoria (AEAV) is a section of the United Workers Union.