Minister for Health Jill Hennessy visited Moe Ambulance Branch to announce 632 of the new stretchers have been fitted as part of the Government's $20 million upgrade of ambulance vehicles and equipment.
Manual handling injuries make up more than 60 per cent of all paramedic injuries in the past three financial years.
The modern stretchers allow paramedics to raise, lower and unload patients using a touch finger control rather than a manual lift, reducing the risk of injuries for staff and improving comfort for patients.
“These stretchers make it easier – and safer – for our highly skilled paramedics to do what they do best, which is save lives.” said Ms Hennessy.
Early findings show the new stretchers are already making a difference. Stretcher-related back injuries have fallen from 30 to 12 in just 12 months, and are expected to fall further now that the roll out to all vehicles is complete.
The Government is delivering a $500 million plan to improve ambulance response times, employ 450 more paramedics, buy new vehicles and build more ambulance stations across the state.
This investment, along with a further $26.5 million in the Victorian Budget 2017/18, is the largest funding boost ever delivered for Victoria’s ambulance services.