Ambulance response times
The following graph shows that a large number of patients are seen within 10 minutes after 000 has been called, and that this response time is improving.
What is the definition of ambulance response time?
Ambulance response time is the time difference between from when a 000 call is received at an ambulance operations centre and when the ambulance arrives at the location to treat the sick or injured patient.
Note that from May 2005 emergency response performance is reported for "000" cases determined as "emergency" (immediate response under lights and sirens - incident is potentially life threatening) under the Medical Prioritised Dispatch System; bringing NSW in line with all other Australian jurisdictions. Prior to May 2005, response performance was reported for all "000" calls.
How are ambulance response times measured?
Australian Ambulance authorities have adopted a standard measure for response times, which are measured at the 50th and 90th percentiles, in minutes.
How are NSW ambulance response times collected?
Ambulance response times are collected for all ambulance stations across NSW a Computer Aided Dispatch System (CAD) . This system was introduced in 1999 and allows Ambulance Service dispatchers to process and update emergency calls with greater speed and accuracy.
CAD is operator-controlled. The computer provides the operator with comprehensive geographical and incident information, such as the type and location of the emergency and the nearest ambulance resources.
CAD covers the whole of NSW and is operated at Dubbo, Sydney, Charlestown (Newcastle) and Warilla (Wollongong).
The benefits of CAD include:
- quick call taking
- quick and consistent response times
- accurate and up-to-date information about all incidents at all times
- good use of available resources
- efficiency and effectiveness of operations centre practice
This web page is managed and authorised by Demand & Performance Evaluation of the NSW Department of Health. Last updated: 30 March, 2009