Ambulance Victoria experienced a surge in demand for several hours from about midnight, with off-duty staff called in to deal with the influx of calls. Non-emergency vehicles were used for callouts during the period, but no details about the cause of the surge were released.
Ambulance Victoria said 140 staff were furloughed due to COVID-19, but did not say how many were on duty at the time of the surge. The agency said it would provide more information when available.
The code red was lifted at 3:30am and normal operations resumed, but Ambulance Victoria said it would be monitoring the situation closely. It urged people to only call triple zero in an emergency.
Ambulance Victoria CEO Tony Walker said the agency had “contingency plans in place to ensure we can continue to respond to emergencies and provide care to patients”.
“I want to thank our staff who have worked through the night, as well as our counterparts at other emergency services, for their assistance,” he said.
It is unclear what caused the sudden influx of cases, but Ambulance Victoria has urged people to only call triple zero in an emergency. Contingency plans are in place to ensure that all patients receive care. Thank you to all the staff who worked through the night!