Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Ambulance times probed after Seymour death

Regional crisis response times will be investigated by Ambulance Victoria after a Seymour woman died waiting for an ambulance.

January 2, 2014 4:44am

Ambulance Victoria will investigate its regional crisis response times after a Seymour woman died while waiting 29 minutes for an ambulance.

An ambulance was called just after midnight Wednesday morning two weeks ago, after the woman, aged in her 40s, had a heart attack.

Paramedics in Seymour were transporting a patient to Melbourne when the emergency call came in, and Ambulance Victoria said the nearest available crews were dispatched and off-duty paramedics were also recalled in an attempt to respond as quickly as possible.

Ambulance Employees Association general secretary Steve McGhie said a lack of resourcing had left Seymour exposed.

‘‘There’s been a number of these cases highlighted this year and we just don’t seem to be learning from what we would argue is a system in crisis,’’ Mr McGhie said.

‘‘There needs to be something seriously done by the ambulance service and the government.’’

Ambulance Victoria said it would review the case, including the decision-making in the communications centre and whether appropriate actions were taken to ensure emergency ambulance coverage was maintained.

‘‘When rural ambulances are required to transport patients away from an area, attempts are routinely made to move available ambulance resources to that area or recall off-duty paramedics,’’ Ambulance Victoria said.

The review comes after three people died in the region in October while waiting more than 22 minutes for an ambulance.

The target response time for regional Victoria is 15 minutes.

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