Page 803 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 21 March 2017

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MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mr Doszpot for his question. Firstly, I want to praise our Ambulance Service for the work they do across the territory. According to the ROGS report, we are one of the fastest responders in the territory. Whilst those times did slip somewhat within that reporting period, I can assure the Assembly that the Ambulance Service are working to pick those times up, and I am confident they will.

The ACT Ambulance Services does a fantastic job right across the ACT not only as first responders but also, of course, as intensive care paramedics. Not only are they able to provide the normal ambulance service but also they are able to do ECGs and provide drugs for patients on the way to hospital. They often provide the correct and informative data to perhaps cardiologists before the patient even arrives at the hospital, allowing hospital services to provide the correct and best responses for the patient.

I am very confident that the ACT Ambulance Service will be able to come up to scratch and keep its lead amongst the territories and states across Australia.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, why is morale in ambulance staff an ongoing issue?

MR GENTLEMAN: I have not had any reports advising me that morale is an ongoing issue in the ACT Ambulance Service. In fact, the visits I have had with paramedics have been quite positive. They look forward to the work they do every day in the service.

Mind you, Madam Speaker, having worked in shift work—as you have—over an 11 year period, I can advise the Assembly that morale does go up and down for shift workers. Of course, if you are in that situation where it is a wait and act position, whether it is ACT Ambulance Service or the fire service, it is often difficult to keep morale at the level that is required and where we see it in a normal job.

However, we are working with ACTAS and, of course, our emergency services people to ensure that we have appropriate responses in place to try to improve that morale process.

MS CHEYNE: Minister, could you please advise the Assembly what action the Emergency Services Agency is taking to reform its services to continue to provide nation-leading services to the ACT?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Cheyne for her question. It is an important reform across the territory in emergency services. Following the finalisation of a number of reviews, the ACT Emergency Services Agency is implementing a series of strategic reforms under the strategic reform agenda. The government has already committed approximately $21 million which will see improvements to the communications and dispatch technology that enables our emergency service people to more effectively deliver their services. This means also the creation of works to radio towers and the development of the upgraded CAD which will align to the comms centre reforms as well.

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