Triple-Zero Calls Have Plummeted In Victoria Since Pandemic
Ambulance Victoria is urging people not to be afraid to contact triple zero during an emergency, after a significant drop in demand amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The service reports a 30 per cent decrease in call-outs, with fears the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions may be frightened to call an ambulance despite an emergency.
"(We) are concerned that members of the community may be frightened to call an ambulance for fear of COVID-19, or just don't want to be a burden on us during a pandemic," Ambulance Victoria Metropolitan Regional Director Chris James said on Monday.
He said Ambulance Victoria has been preparing for COVID-19 since mid-January and have enough ambulances, paramedics and supplies to meet demand.
"If people have health concerns, such as an onset of shortness of breath, chest pains, facial drooping or weakness, for example, they must dial triple zero," James said.
"Every second counts when it comes to respiratory or cardiac conditions, or stroke. If a patient doesn't need a lights and sirens ambulance, we will find the right care for that patient at that time."
He encouraged people to check in on elderly relatives, neighbours or friends to make sure they know Ambulance Victoria was available.