QuestionsOnNotice

Questions on Notice No 6215
Answered
Assembly
59 Parliament First Session
Question
Asked: 7 October 2021

Question on Notice

Mr Battin to ask the Minister for Police for the Minister for Emergency Services — Since 1 January 2021, what measures have been undertaken at the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority to ensure adequate resourcing is available to handle the large increase in call volumes and to ensure that all calls are answered within the nominated timeframe.

Answer
Answered: 22 February 2022
LA - QON - 6215 - Mr Battin - ESTA Resourcing - Emergency Services - DUE TO BE TABLED 6 NOVEMBER.docx

 

I am advised that in response to the significant increase in demand, the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) has undertaken several actions to support their operational capacity and services to the community:

 

  • ESTA has recruited 63 Ambulance call-takers since 1 July 2021 and continues to recruit and train new staff for call-taking and dispatch roles as well as supervisor and support positions.

 

  • While ESTA is recruiting further staff, they are also offering overtime shifts to all workers and recalling operational employees seconded into projects across the organisation to help meet demand.

 

  • ESTA has worked closely with Ambulance Victoria on use of paramedic students and deployed selected numbers on the floor.

 

  • ESTA and Ambulance Victoria are also working closely together on responses to surges in call- volumes, to ensure patient safety is paramount.

 

  • ESTA have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with relevant industrial parties to facilitate the provision of surge penalties for staff enabling greater roster workforce flexibility.

 

  • ESTA is working with Department of Health on communications to ensure that triple zero calls

are only used for emergencies, reinforcing other options such as the ‘Nurse-On-Call’ line.

 

  • ESTA have undertaken forward planning for recruitment requirements through to end of June 2022.

 

In addition, the Victorian Government has commissioned an independent review into how ESTA delivers its services; including triple zero services, so it can continue to keep the community safe and provide its vital service.

The ESTA Capability and Service Review is being independently led by Graham Ashton AM who has commenced the review and is due to provide a report to the Minister for Emergency Services in March 2022.

 

Terms of Reference for the review have been approved by the Minister for Emergency Services, following initial engagement with key stakeholders including the Minister for Health. Further extensive stakeholder engagement will be undertaken over the coming months to understand current challenges and opportunities to strengthen the capacity and capability of ESTA and the way they support Victoria’s emergency services and meet the needs of our communities.

 

I am in constant conversation with ESTA and the department on what more we can do to support our amazing staff at ESTA who are working hard every day to keep Victorians safe.

 

 

 

Jaclyn Symes MP

Attorney-General

Minister for Emergency Service

 

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