The Australian Defence Force is assisting the Victorian Government with ambulance drivers and planners as part of Operation COVID-19 Assist.
CAPTION: Army soldier Private Mathew Dowthwaite behind the wheel of an ambulance during driver training at the Ambulance Victoria Training Centre in Sunshine, Victoria. Story by Captain Martin Hadley. Photo by Leading Seaman James McDougall.
Responding to an Emergency Management Australia request, the ADF is providing 20 ambulance drivers to Ambulance Victoria and six planners to Emergency Management Victoria from January, 20.
The ADF personnel working as ambulance drivers will partner with paramedics on non-urgent tasks after being trained at the Ambulance Victoria Training Centre.
Brigadier Matthew Burr, Commander of Joint Task Group 629.2, said the ADF personnel are providing important support to the Victorian community.
“Our ADF personnel will work side-by-side with Ambulance Victoria paramedics driving them to incidents requiring an ambulance response,” Brigadier Burr said.
The ADF assistance builds on previous ADF support to the Victorian community.
“Operation COVID-19 Assist has previously supported the Victorian Department of Health, Victoria Police and hotel quarantine,” Brigadier Burr said. “More than 7000 ADF personnel have deployed to Victoria over the past two years”.
Since March 2020, Operation COVID-19 Assist has made a significant contribution to the Australian Government response to the COVID-19 pandemic with customised support to state and territory authorities.