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Ambulance boost for the Surf Coast as silly season arrives

December 14, 2023 8:24 am in by
Image: Paramedic and AV Regional Director Jess McGowan (theparentswebsite.com.au)

More paramedics and ambulances will be deployed to Geelong and the Surf Coast to ensure the service is not overun during the busy summer holidays.

The population of the Surf Coast alone is expected to skyrocket from 40,000 people to more than 100,000 over Christmas and New year, placing additional strain on already overworked local emergency services.

Ambulance Victoria (AV) said extra resources sent to the region for the summer will include additional Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance (MICA) personnel, Advanced Life Support (ALS) crews and Ambulance Single Response Units.

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AV Barwon Southwest Acting Regional Director Clinical Operations, Jessica McGowan said having extra hands on deck during the warmer months was crucial.

“We’ve put on extra resources dotted around the Surf Coast and in the Greater Geelong region to make sure we’re there to support people,” she told Geelong Broadcasters.

“We do need to make sure we’ve got coverage for all the people who are out partying over the summer season.”

Ms McGowan said locals and visitors could help by taking simple steps to keep themselves and their families safe.

“Remember to stay hydrated and drink water regularly throughout the day,” she said.

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“Avoid being outside during the hottest time of the day and keep cool by using air conditioning and fans whenever possible. Heat can cause serious illnesses including heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.”

Heat stroke is fatal in up to 80 per cent of cases, however Ms McGowan said it was entirely preventable. Symptoms include confusion, seizures, collapsing or loss of consciousness.

Heatstroke is a life-threatneing emergency and AV urged people to call Triple Zero (000) immediately if they suspect they or someone else has been affected.

AV also urged people to party responsibly by looking out for each other, swim only at patrolled beaches and never leave children in cars unattended.

Non-urgent medical assistance is also availbe through Victorian Virtual Emergency Department, Priority Primary Care Centres, by calling NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24, or by visiting your local doctor or pharmacist.

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