A PARAMEDIC fears changes to the roster will leave Rosebud residents without a vital ambulance service during busy nightshifts.
The man, who asked not to be named but whose identity is known to The News, said the Rosebud and Rye joint ambulance branch had applied for and received approval to reduce its services in what he termed a “blended” roster.
He said it would only take one inter-hospital transport (“of which there are many”) for the Rosebud night shift to be taken out of the area for several hours – depleting Rosebud of its only local resource.
“While it could be claimed that there will be no net loss of truck hours there will be only one night shift resource from 1am to 6.30am instead of two,” the paramedic said. “That’s a 50 per cent reduction in night coverage.”
The claims have been refuted by Ambulance Victoria regional director Cath Anderson: “The Rye ambulance and the Rosebud ambulance are 24-hour resources based at the Rosebud ambulance branch. We have no current plans to change the rostering of these two resources.”
The paramedic said staff may claim that, statistically, the branch workload “quietens down” at 1am.
“I can assure you that this is not the case,” he said. “Three hour minimum inter-hospital transports to Frankston are still occurring at all hours – frequently.
“Also, the Rye truck was government funded to provide 24-hour coverage. It will now only work daylight hours. Rosebud residents are being ripped off.”
The paramedic said ambulance management would try to sell what he termed a roster change as a “trial” aimed at managing staff fatigue.
“This may be true, but it should not be at the expense of the health of the peninsula.
“It may also increase the fatigue of neighbouring stations, and decrease their availability for their own areas, while covering the Rosebud area workload.”