Tuesday, 20 December 2022


Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority

Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority

Melina BATH (Eastern Victoria) (19:16): (7) President, I also congratulate you on your restored position and look forward to working with you in a productive way in the house.

My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Emergency Services, and I am pleased to see that she is at the bench tonight and listening with interest. It relates to ESTA and the dispatching of ambulances in emergency situations. I was contacted by constituents Russell and Janine Croydon, who live in Traralgon. They are keen cyclists. They were out on a cycling adventure around the town and were returning home when Russell in effect crashed. He crashed and ended up on the road not far from their home. He and his wife identified that clearly he had a broken leg – a shattered leg, a compound fracture. It was a mess. He was unwell, clearly, and lying on the ground in pain.

His wife Janine phoned 000 and requested the dispatch of an ambulance. The operator did not dispatch an ambulance but said ‘There will be somebody to contact you within an hour – it will be a nurse or a paramedic – to workshop, in effect, your situation.’ Now, you are the partner of someone lying on the pavement in grave pain, but the ESTA operator said, ‘No, don’t move him’, in short.

After a time someone came to help. Janine put her husband into the back of the car and travelled with him to Latrobe Regional Hospital, where he ended up having two operations and significant pins; he will have a long time in rehab. Now, in the course of that event Janine also cancelled waiting for ESTA to call back with a nurse or a paramedic. This is no reflection on our wonderful professional paramedics that operate in our ambulance services, and I can attest to their wonderful work, but the question they asked me, and it is not an isolated incident, was: what constitutes an emergency – if there is a clear fall and a clear break – and why wasn’t an ambulance dispatched?

So I would ask the minister to contact Russell and Janine Croydon – I have their details – and advise them of the steps she will personally undertake to ensure, in their words, ‘that this doesn’t happen again’, so that people are not left lying on the asphalt in the middle of the road in pain for potentially an hour or longer waiting for an ambulance to be dispatched.