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St John NT is appealing to the public to save Triple Zero (000) calls for emergencies to ensure that the ambulance service is able to respond to the people who need them most.
The ambulance service has seen a 19% increase in emergency calls year to date for January 2022 compared to January 2021.
For the financial year of 2020-21, St John NT answered 59,720 Triple Zero (000) calls a 14% increase from the previous reporting period.
St John NT CEO Judith Barker says that the call volume is not only attributed to the continuing high number of COVID-19 cases in the Northern Territory.
“Following the opening of our borders to Australian states and territories we saw an increase in the volume of Triple Zero (000) calls due to the surge of the pandemic in line with the experience of other states and territories. But as life starts to return to normal the demand has continued to increase with people back out and about doing things which find them in emergency situations,” she said.
“A number of measures have been introduced to manage this demand including a national recorded voice message (RVA) which achieved a direct reduction in calls nationally and was removed from all services on 14 February 2022. We have also embarked on recruiting additional Emergency Medical Dispatchers (EMDs) to meet demand levels.
“Our Triple Zero (000) call volume, however, is still sitting higher than normal. Starting today, we have released a community awareness video encouraging people to ‘Save Triple Zero (000) for emergencies’. The video will be boosted through St John NT’s social media channels and public relations activities.”
“Building awareness regarding the correct use of Triple Zero (000) is in the best interests of the safety and healthcare outcomes of our community. St John NT encourages other services and the community to share this important message,” Ms Barker said.
The St John NT Save Triple Zero (000) for emergencies video can be seen here or on St John NT’s social media channels.