Drug tests for ambulance service

AMBULANCE Victoria (AV) has introduced a program of random alcohol and drug testing of staff, which will see 20 per cent of staff tested in the first year. Random testing will continue on a weekly basis.

So far this year, 402 AV employees across the state have been drug and alcohol-tested and two employees have tested positive for illicit drugs.

Random drug and alcohol testing is an important part of the broader reform agenda that had been under way over the past two years.

We are randomly testing a large proportion of both our operational and non-operational workforce over the next 12 months to ensure we are satisfied illicit drug use is not a widespread issue at AV.

We want to genuinely highlight if we have any issues within the workforce in relation to drug activity and take the appropriate action if illegal drug use is identified.

It is critical the community have the confidence in paramedics to carry out their duty of care to ­patients.

It is our very clear expectation that all staff present for work unimpaired by drugs and alcohol.

We are encouraging staff who believe they may have a problem with alcohol or other drugs to come forward with confidence that we will support them in getting the help that they need early.

Mick Stephenson,

Ambulance Victoria acting chief executive

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