SA Ambulance ‘drives’ home new fast track recruitment program

Some of the state’s latest SA Ambulance Service recruits were put through their paces in Clare last week.

Fifteen new volunteers from across South Australia were in the Mid North to take part in driver training following the services’ introduction of the Fast Track Ambulance Assist course in 2018.

Following a seven-day training course, the group will be able to drive an ambulance and support clinicians before moving on to develop further skills gradually to become a qualified officer.

Country Operations acting director Andrew Thomas said the additional resources would significantly boost the almost 1600 volunteer ambulance officers and more than 80 country volunteer ambulance teams across SA.

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of our ambulance service in country SA and are a key part of ensuring the communities are provided with a safe and quality patient care service,” he said.

“We are thrilled to have Ambulance Assist Officers on board with us. We now have more than 200. Volunteering really is easier than ever – we are able to provide flexible training options and manage rosters around individual’s lifestyles.”

Crystal Brook recruit Jack Zani, 21, was among the new recruits and said he was looking forward to the challenge, and said his volunteer role worked well around his job as a sound technician at the Northern Festival Centre.

Jack said he had been drawn to joining SA Ambulance after seeing how they operate through his other volunteer role with the Country Fire Service, which he had been doing since he was 16.

“It’s been really intuitive and enjoyable, the trainers are very knowledgeable and willing to pass on their knowledge,” he said.

“It’s quite daunting but it’s also really exciting to get out and start (volunteering).”

A total of $3.6 million was injected into SAAS volunteer training in September last year to enable the procurement of an online package and equipment to enable further training for those in remote, rural and fringe ambulance stations.

The ambulance service is also calling for more volunteers across the state through its recruitment campaign, ‘Take the Step: Live your life while saving others’, which demonstrates how easy it is to sign up, train and balance life with volunteer hours.

SAAS is calling on community locals in the Mid North, Yorke Peninsula, Adelaide Hills, Barossa and Kangaroo Island to take the step and find out more about becoming an ambulance volunteer.

Adelaide Plains acting regional team leader, Lui Morello, based at Mallala, said driver training was no easy feat, but excellent support was provided to the volunteers.

“Volunteers are put to the test and must complete the complex manoeuvre course and learn to break at high speed thresholds. The skills and confidence volunteers’ gain from this kind of driver training is invaluable in both their professional and personal lives,” he said.

“These new recruits have taken the step to help those in need and be a leader in their community. We invite more people to do the same and take the step to join their local ambulance service.”

To find out more about becoming a volunteer, call 1800 655 306 or go to

• Pictured: SA Ambulance Service Adelaide Plains acting regional team leader Lui Morello, Mallala, with new Crystal Brook recruit Jack Zani in Clare last week for Fast Track Ambulance Assist training.