Ambulance Victoria

Ambulance Victoria (AV) aims to deliver outstanding emergency health care and improve the health of the community by:

  • Providing safe, high-quality, timely and expert pre-hospital emergency patient care;
  • Providing expert leadership and operational management in pre-hospital emergency health care, for emergencies resulting in injury or illness, or those with potential future health consequences;
  • Planning for, responding to, and leading the pre-hospital health response to planned and unplanned events and emergencies (including major public events);
  • Working with patients and people within communities to make informed decisions about their emergency health care;
  • Collaborating with partner agencies to improve health outcomes for patients and communities.

AV’s obligations as a Statutory Authority (Ambulance Services Act 1986 (External link)) requires the service to:

  • Respond rapidly to requests for help in a medical emergency;
  • Provide specialised medical skills to maintain life and reduce injuries in emergency situations and while transporting patients;
  • Provide safe, patient-centred and appropriate services;
  • Provide specialised transport facilities to move people requiring emergency medical treatment;
  • Provide services for which specialised medical, or transport skills are necessary;
  • To foster continuous improvement in the quality and safety of the care and services we provide; and
  • Foster public education in first aid.

Within this scope, AV will undertake their activities within the following core capabilities as described in the Victorian Preparedness Framework:

  • Planning
  • Community Information and Warnings
  • Operational Management
  • Intelligence and Information sharing
  • Building Community Resilience
  • Impact Assessment
  • Search and Rescue
  • Health Protection
  • Health Emergency Response
  • Relief assistance
  • Built recovery
  • Social recovery
  • Assurance and learning

In order to provide greater awareness of the breadth of AV’s scope, the following explanation of this scope is provided:


Activity Critical task alignment / activity source
AV will utilise a systematic process that engages pre-hospital health response partners and the community as appropriate to develop executable strategic, operational, and/or tactical level approaches to meet defined objectives for the pre-hospital health aspects of emergencies.

  • Develop, maintain, and continually review agency emergency management plans that detail a whole of organisation response to emergencies. These plans will consider the relevant risks, likelihood and consequences and resultant mitigating actions within the pre-hospital and broader health environment.


  • Share agency and pre-hospital health information with relevant stakeholders to assist in emergency management planning, within organisational and legislative information privacy requirements.


  • Actively participate in emergency management planning committees at all tiers (municipal, regional, and state) and undertake planning, preparation, and review of relevant emergency management plans


  • Plan, coordinate and participate in internal and multi-agency training and exercises, including for mass casualty incidents and other emergencies with health consequences.


Response (including Relief)

Activity Critical task alignment / activity source

Lead Response Support Agency (RSA) for:

  • ambulance services/first aid/Pre-hospital care
  • health command

Table 10: Support agencies for response

Relief Lead Agency (RelLA) to coordinate pre-hospital care to people affected by emergencies.

3.1, 14.2, 14.8Table 12: Relief coordination

Relief Support Agency (RelSA) to DH to coordinate other health and medical relief assistance measures

3.1, 14.3, 14.4, 15.1, 15.2,

Table 12: Relief coordination

Lead Agency to restore, clear and rehabilitate public buildings and assets managed within AV’s portfolio

3.1, 19.3, 19.7

Community Information And Warnings

AV will deliver public information and warnings that are authoritative, consistently constructed, and relevant for all Victorians and visitors for defined emergencies. Information will be, timely and tailored to support the affected community to make informed decisions before, during and after emergencies.


  • Provide information to people and communities on relevant pre-hospital health risks, risk mitigation actions, and incident/events that may affect them.


  • Participate in and support the delivery of a whole-of-Victorian-Government preparedness and awareness campaign.


  • Deliver timely, coordinated, accessible, tailored, and relevant pre-hospital health information and warnings to communities.


  • Participate in and support collaborative and proactive messaging to promote health recovery in impacted communities.

Operational Management

AV will establish and maintain a unified and coordinated Health Command operational structure that appropriately integrates all internal and external critical stakeholders. This structure will support the execution of core capabilities to meet objectives of the organisation and the control agency in managing and mitigating the pre-hospital health impacts and consequences of emergencies.


  • Establish and provide pre-hospital health command at all tiers (incident, regional and state) to effectively deliver pre-hospital health command and emergency management as per the SEMP HESP. This includes assembling and leading the Health IMT (Incident tier).


  • Deploy a Health Commander to direct the operational health response.


  • Activate established coordination networks to support operational pre-hospital health response.


  • Identify and maintain facilities for pre-hospital health command and emergency management activities.


  • Identify, maintain, and protect critical agency operational communications.


  • Participate in developing and established communication networks connecting communities and emergency managers.


  • Represent Health as a member of the Emergency Management Team at all tiers, and report on patient numbers and health impacts.

Intelligence And Information Sharing

AV will provide timely, accurate, tailored, and actionable intelligence to relevant internal and external stakeholders by collecting, processing, and analysing multiple data sources including the assessment of pre-hospital risks and hazards.


  • Collaboratively identify and plan for internal and external intelligence requirements.


  • Develop, establish, and monitor surveillance and intelligence systems, and maintain a network of trained personnel to deliver pre-hospital health intelligence requirements.


  • Collect, process, analyse, tailor, and share pre-hospital health data and information for current and emerging risks and hazards across all phases of an emergency.

Building Community Resilience

AV aims to build community safety and resilience by working with communities and people at the local level.


  • Support the building of individual and community-based pre-hospital health literacy to improve community self-reliance and resilience.


  • Connecting with communities and people to develop and promote the use of local and individual alternative pre-hospital health options.


  • Engage with communities to build resilience in preventing and managing emergencies, through targeted and general education programs.


  • Coordinate Public Access Defibrillation programs, First Aid Training, and Community Emergency Response Teams

Impact Assessment

AV will provide relevant decision makers with appropriate information regarding the pre-hospital impacts of an incident, including the nature and extent of the hazard and any potential consequences during and after an emergency to ensure efficient, timely and appropriate support for communities.


  • Gather information regarding the extent of pre-hospital health impacts, including ambulance demand, number, severity and types of injuries and the impact of the emergency on hospital Emergency Departments.


  • Collect and provide progressive assessment of pre-hospital health data of the scale, impacts and characteristics of the emergency to appropriate decision makers.

Search And Rescue

AV will support and participate in (where the appropriate skills exist with the organisation) traditional and atypical search and rescue capabilities with the goal of safely saving the greatest number of endangered lives in the shortest time possible.


  • Support pre-hospital health requirements (including patient care, transport, and support for other agency responders) for search and rescue operations, including in specialist response environments i.e. wilderness, aquatic, USAR, air, 4WD and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE).


  • Provide specialist pre-hospital clinical and operational advice during planning and preparedness activities and Emergency Management Teams to ensure the best possible patient outcomes for persons requiring search and rescue operations.


  • Support the deployment of interstate, national and international pre-hospital health care resources, including health command, Australian Medical Assistance Team (AUSMAT) and USAR deployments where requested to do so. 

Health Protection

AV supports the public health of Victorians by working with health authorities to mitigate and respond to the health impacts of notifiable diseases and other public health emergencies (including pandemic disease).


  • Maintain an ongoing state of planning and preparedness to support a pre-hospital health response to a public health emergency.


  • Collaborate with control authorities and health entities to plan for and effectively participate in the response to public health emergencies.


  • Utilise control agency expertise and guidance to develop, plan and prepare for enhanced arrangements for identified risks.


  • Prepare for and collaborate with control authorities to support public and private health entities to manage and control public health risks.


  • Effectively communicate ambulance and pre-hospital clinical health management scope, guidance, and practice to the health sector.


  • Effectively communicate the pre-hospital health risks and collaborate in public health promotion and prevention campaigns.

Health Emergency Response

AV leads and commands the planning, provisioning, response and coordination of pre-hospital and health emergency care (including for mass casualty incidents and emergencies with health consequences). This includes triage, treatment, and distribution of patients in a timely and structured manner, using all available resources to maximise positive health outcomes.


  • Identify existing and developing health risks.


  • Respond to requests for pre-hospital emergency care.


  • Assess patients and determine treatment priorities.


  • Establish and manage primary patient treatment points.


  • Maintain and deploy specialised resources as required.


  • Provide expert pre-hospital treatment and care.


  • Undertake and coordinate patient transport, including initial notification and distribution of patients to appropriate care facilities.


  • Work with hospitals to identify strategies and resources that may be implemented in response to a surge in demand.


  • Coordinate across the health sector to provide advanced clinical care, speciality services and investigations required for patient treatment and care.


  • Liaise with control agencies to ensure the safety of responders, health care workers, and the public for identified and emergent risks from an incident.


  • Provide health support to other agencies, where appropriate

Relief Assistance

AV supports the provision of well-coordinated, integrated, and timely assistance to meet the immediate health needs of affected communities, during and immediately after an emergency event.


  • Support the Evacuation Manager in evacuating vulnerable people.


  • Support the immediate pre-hospital health necessities in temporary shelter options for displaced persons (including initial provision of pre-hospital care while first aid options are activated and health command of pre-hospital resources in temporary shelter facilities).

15.1, 15.2

  • Work with, coordinate and manage services to meet the physical needs of affected populations, including establishing Field Primary Care Clinics or other health relief assistance measures as directed by the State Health Commander.


  • Monitor emerging needs and adapt services to minimise the long-term consequences on pre-hospital health and wellbeing.


Activity Critical task alignment / activity source

Build Recovery

AV will work with stakeholders, control authorities and state/local government to restore or provide ambulance infrastructure and/or services in established or nominated safe areas during and following an emergency to support and benefit communities.



  • Undertake technical assessments for ambulance services and infrastructure.


  • Assess, prioritise, and work with relevant stakeholders to facilitate and undertake restoration of services to meet the pre-hospital health needs of the affected community (including ambulance services).


  • Restore ambulance infrastructure to be sustainable and more resilient to future events.


  • Work with government and control authorities to ensure continuity of ambulance and pre-hospital health services during restoration works.

Social Recovery

AV will support the longer-term provision of assistance and access to services that allows individuals, families, and communities to achieve an effective level of functioning after an emergency event. This includes engaging where appropriate with services designed to deliver on safety, security, shelter, health and psychosocial wellbeing and re-establishment of those elements of society necessary for well-being.



  • Supporting referral into developing and established services to provide for medium to long term psychosocial needs.


  • Work with agencies and authorities coordinating and delivering health programs to ensure continuity and availability of advice / activities.


Assurance and Learning

Activity Critical task alignment / activity source

AV will support and undertake continuous quality improvement in emergency management practice and community safety by generating insights and knowledge from experience and research, reviewing community consequences and investigating relevant causes and outcomes as they relate to the pre-hospital response to an emergency, and translating learnings into improved practice.


  • Undertake research and quality assurance activities before, during and after major emergency events.


  • Undertake and participate in research to enhance the evidence-base in pre-hospital clinical and disaster management skills (including for mass casualty incidents and emergencies with health consequences) and patient outcomes.


  • Undertake operational debrief and use insights to identify lessons from these activities.


  • Assess identified lessons for change / improvement activities.


  • Monitor and measure improvement activities and outcomes.


  • Provide opportunities for all personnel to access and utilise identified lessons.