Skip to main content

FAQs for volunteers

 

I want to apply to become a volunteer ambulance officer. What do I need to do?

It’s great that you want to learn skills for life and help others in your community. Please call 1800 655 306 for an enquiry pack or email SAASvolunteer@sa.gov.au. Please provide your name, postal address, phone number and, if you know, the station you would like to volunteer at.

The enquiry pack we send you has more information about the application process as well as the necessary forms. You could also talk to a volunteer ambulance officer or team leader in your local area.

The application process includes completing an application form, attending an interview and medical assessment, and obtaining a police clearance.

Top

I live in metropolitan Adelaide. Can I be a volunteer ambulance officer?

Yes! While there aren’t any volunteer ambulance stations in metropolitan Adelaide, we have volunteer response teams which are based (and train) in Adelaide. Team members go to country towns during times of high workload to provide assistance. Members of this team need to be available during weekdays and be able to stay in country towns for up to a week at a time.

For more information about this team please email your name and contact details to
SAASvolunteer@sa.gov.au or call 1800 655 306.

How do I know where my nearest volunteer ambulance station is?

A list of SAAS volunteer ambulance stations and teams can be found on our map here.

I am interested in a career as a paramedic with SA Ambulance Service. Will I have more chance of getting a job if I have been a volunteer ambulance officer?

Not necessarily. Being a volunteer ambulance officer volunteer does not automatically increase your changes of obtaining a paid role at SA Ambulance Service. All paramedic applicants must meet the criteria to be offered a job, regardless of whether they have volunteered with SAAS. Click here for more information about becoming a paramedic.

Top

I volunteer for the CFS. Can I also be a volunteer ambulance officer?

Yes, you can still be an ambulance officer volunteer if you are already a CFS volunteer, provided you can regularly attend training and any other requirements of being a SAAS volunteer.

If you were rostered as an ambulance officer and the CFS required you at the same time, you would need to remain available for SAAS or arrange for someone to cover your ambulance shift.

Can I become a volunteer ambulance officer if I am not a permanent Australian resident?

Yes. However, you will need a visa that allows you to do voluntary work. For further information, phone the Department of Immigration and Citizenship on 131 881.

Do I have to pay for my ambulance training?

No, you do not need to pay to study either the Certificate IV in Health Care (Ambulance) or your ongoing skills updates. SAAS provides all training to you free of charge, including your study materials.

Top

I do not have a full driver's licence. Can I still be a volunteer ambulance officer?

If you would like to join SAAS as a volunteer ambulance officer recruit, you must be over 17 years old and hold a driver’s licence that allows you to drive in SA. If you are on a provisional licence you will be able to commence your training with us, but will need to obtain a full driver’s licence before becoming a qualified volunteer ambulance officer. If you do not have a driver’s licence or have a learner’s permit we have other roles which you may be interested in, such as admin officers or helping out on the station.

I don't want to be on the ambulance but I would like to help out. Are there any non-ambulance volunteer roles for me?

Yes, SAAS has many volunteers who don’t work on an ambulance. They support their local ambulance service by doing office or administrative duties, being on a local ambulance committee, gardening, or washing the ambulance.

I don't live in South Australia. Can I study your volunteer ambulance course?

No. The training includes a significant amount of hands-on learning, which cannot be done externally. Also, we only offer this for people who are training to volunteer with SA Ambulance Service.

Top

I don't have any experience in the medical field. Can I still apply to become a volunteer ambulance officer?

Yes, you can definitely apply. You do not need any medical experience or training to become a volunteer ambulance officer. We provide all necessary training once you have passed the application process. We also provide lots of support so you feel confident with your skills.

How can I get more information about becoming a volunteer ambulance officer?

You can call 1800 655 306 or email SAASvolunteer@sa.gov.au for more information. Also, ambulance officers from our volunteer teams would be happy to meet with you so you can find out more. You can ask questions of current volunteers and other SAAS staff about volunteering.

What age do you need to be to become a volunteer ambulance officer?

If you would like to join SAAS as a volunteer ambulance officer recruit, you must be over 17 years old and hold either a full driver’s licence or a provisional licence. If you are on a provisional licence you can start your training with us but will need to obtain a full driver’s licence before you can become a qualified volunteer ambulance officer.

There is no maximum age for our volunteers. We welcome people of any age, so long as you are fit and healthy. We do ask that you are able to meet our medical requirements as part of the selection process.

Top

I work full-time. Can I still be a volunteer ambulance officer?

Yes, as long as you have time to do the training and be on the roster as needed by your station (see above). Many of our volunteers have full-time employment in another field. Training is generally conducted on weekends or evenings to fit in with people who work during the daytime.

You may also want to talk to your employer about supporting you and the local community by allowing you to respond to ambulance cases from work. Please email SAASvolunteer@sa.gov.au if you’d like a booklet that provides more information for employers about how this works or call 1800 655 306.

I have been a volunteer ambulance officer elsewhere. Will my qualifications be recognised by SA Ambulance Service?

Yes, in most cases if your qualifications are from an accredited training provider and meet the Australian Quality Training Framework standards. However, even if we recognise your qualifications, you will still need to do some training that is specific to SAAS. This may involve training to use our equipment to make sure you can work safely.

Top

Can I apply to become a volunteer ambulance officer at any time, or do I need to wait until you are advertising?

You can apply to become a volunteer at any time. Training courses are generally scheduled once every two years in your area, but you may be able to attend a course in another area.

Can I become a volunteer ambulance officer if I have diabetes, asthma or some other medical condition?

Possibly. A person with a medical condition can apply to become an ambulance officer, but it will be up to your local medical practitioner and our occupational physician to decide if you are fit for volunteer ambulance duties.

For safety reasons, SAAS ensures applicants meet the same medical standards required to hold a commercial driver’s licence. People with certain medical conditions, such as epilepsy or diabetes, may not meet this standard, and thus may not be able to become an ambulance officer volunteer.

Can I receive recognition of prior learning for any part of the Certificate IV in Health Care (Ambulance)

Yes. SA Ambulance Service makes every effort to recognise prior learning and current competencies. However, even if we recognise your qualifications, you will still need to do some training that is specific to SAAS. This may involve training to use our equipment to make sure you can work safely with it. Top

 

How close do I have to live to a town in order to volunteer?

There is no definitive rule for this. Generally, volunteers work or live reasonably close to the station so they can respond quickly in an emergency. However, there are other options available, such as being at the station for your shifts. You would be expected to be able to attend training at your specified station so this would need to be considered in deciding what station you volunteer at. Your local manager can discuss further with you what arrangements are available, should you decide to volunteer with us.

 

  
Creative Commons License

The content on this page is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence, unless indicated otherwise.
To attribute this material, cite SA Ambulance Service, 2017.