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Posted 14 Jul '16

APA (NSW) Member Update – Vehicle Polling – Car 54 Where Are You?

APA (NSW) Member Update

Vehicle Polling – Car 54 Where Are You?

15th July 2016

It may appear absurd to some for a member update to have the title of a 1960s sitcom with actors regarded for their roles as Herman Munster and Grandpa yet it is even more absurd that every shift we hear members reporting the car number could have been exchanged for their unit ID at some time during the shift because the dispatcher did not know where they were.

In 2014 NSWA representatives gave evidence before the IRC they had identified polling issues which had been rectified. The result was the closest available vehicle was always tasked to respond to emergencies. Yet in 2016 when you can track your pizza delivery or locate your GPS position on your phone our dispatchers are at times unable to rely upon NSWA equipment to locate an emergency unit.

Our persistence with this issue finally forced NSWA to relent and undertake physical assessment of the GPS tracking system earlier this year. At meetings which occurred at Ambulance Headquarters on the 14th of July 2016 NSWA advised the testing vehicles and tests undertaken by these vehicles confirmed the GPS system is working with a high degree of accuracy.

With respect to the analysis of reported failures submitted to NSWA all they would confirm was that on such occasions it failed to work. There was no provision of information as to why the failures occurred except to say the computer equipment used for the purposes of data transmission is quite old. In fact the servers responsible for these tasks are reported to be at least 12 years old. In Ambo years or IT years they are well past retirement.

The good news is our concerted efforts has led to the provision of in excess of $9M for an interim solution with the empathies’ on interim (30 months) meaning a long term solution will also need to be planned for and budgeted.

There is to be prior to Christmas 2016 a roll out of new backend hardware and software (server and software upgrades), newer more practical MDT Heads and clearer instruction on the capacities and capabilities of the system.

At a period in time when reasonable rates of remuneration are made impossible by Legislative impositions that devalue the true worth of our members, we see this as a great win for the members and the public alike as it provides some assurance toward better welfare management for both groups.

We continue to urge our members to be vigilant and through the correct reporting system take the effort to report such failures as only these reports can be relied upon to make sure a high standard is reached.

Regards, APA (NSW) Executive Your Choice, Your Voice

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