The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a group of locals trained by Ambulance Victoria to respond to 000 calls requiring an ambulance. All expenses are covered. Training consists of 10 sessions of 3 hours in Halls Gap. There are no rosters and you only respond at your convenience. At least 2 members go to call outs with most jobs requiring routine treatment (routine for us, not the patient.)

At present the CERT Team has 10 members trained by Ambulance Victoria to respond to emergency situations with Advanced First Aid. If an ambulance is required in our area it comes from Stawell, Ararat or Horsham. Which one of these stations responds depends on their case demands when the emergency occurs and also the number of patients involved. When someone calls 000 in our area the information is given to ESTA (Emergency Services Telecommunication Authority) in Ballarat. They page the best available ambulance and Halls Gap CERT at the same time. The CERT Team can carry out life-saving procedures and administer life-saving drugs until the regular ambulance arrives. The small CERT ambulance does not transport patients but CERT members can drive the regular ambulance to a hospital if both its’ paramedics are needed for life-saving procedures on the way to hospital. CERT is only authorised to respond to 000 emergencies. Without a case number we cannot attend.

The area we cover is east to Lake Fyans, through Pomonal and half way to Moyston, north along Mount Zero Road to Roses Gap Road, west to Wartook and south to Mirranatwa Gap.

The number of emergencies is by nature, unpredictable. The most calls we have had in a day is four. We have been two and a half weeks without a call. Most call outs are to one patient. Motor vehicle accidents often involve treating multiple casualties.

We are always looking for more members. If you’d like to be involved, contact John Pearson on 03) 5356 4440.