ADF assists Vic. ambos
Army personnel will help Victoria bolster its paramedic numbers as coronavirus continues to spread.
Premier Daniel Andrews has struck an agreement with Prime Minister Scott Morrison for a 1,000-strong team of ADF members to reinforce Victoria in coming weeks.
Mr Andrews said the ADF members will “support the inevitable number of paramedics who will finish up having to quarantine, having to isolate, having to be furloughed because of exposure or potential exposure [to COVID-19]”.
“It's also just a great way to best use the resources that we have, freeing up additional ambulance paramedics. That will be rolled out quite soon,” he said.
Acting director of emergency management Justin Dunlop says people should be reassured if they see ADF members in an ambulance.
“It means there are more members of the community helping us,” Mr Dunlop said.
“It doesn't mean there's a crisis and it might mean they are doing some training with us.”
It will take about 10 days to train ADF members to assist paramedics.
ADF members will also undertake some contact tracing duties, as well as planning and logistics in the State Control Centre, delivering care packages and essentials to public housing residents, community engagement, and assisting Victoria Police with vehicle checkpoints and compliance checks.
“That frees up Victoria Police members and allows them to be focused on … defending that hard border between Metropolitan Melbourne, Mitchell Shire and regional Victoria,” Mr Andrews said.
The extra 1,000 members are in addition to about 400 members already on the ground.
The members are expected to remain in Victoria until the forecast end of the current restrictions on August 19.