Ambulance Service of New South Wales
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Response Times 2008/09

Ambulance Emergency Response Time is the period between when a Triple Zero (000) emergency call is recorded by us and the time the first ambulance resource arrives at the scene in a life-threatening case. In Australia, the 50th percentile response time is a key measure, allowing our performance to be compared with other states.


In 2008/09 the 50th percentile (median) response time for potentially life-threatening cases was 10.27 minutes for the State (this means that at least 50 per cent of potentially life threatening cases were responded to within 10.27 minutes) and 10.1 minutes for the Sydney metropolitan area. There has been a slight deterioration in response performance primarily due to longer off stretcher times which limited the overall availability of ambulances to respond.

The 50th percentile response time for the highest priority cases is shown below.

Off stretcher times

Off stretcher time is the period between when a paramedic arrives at a hospital emergency department and the time the paramedic is cleared to respond to other emergencies (ie the patient has been handed over to hospital staff).

On occasions there are delays at hospital emergency departments for many and varied reasons. Although a patient may have been triaged or assessed at a hospital, an influx of patients to the emergency department can place pressure on the availability of nursing staff to care for the patient. This is especially the case during peak periods.

The average off stretcher time in minutes for P1 cases (emergencies), P2 cases (urgent) and P3 cases (medical priority) is provided below.

Response times measure the time elapsed between a call for ambulance assistance being recorded and ambulance resources arriving at the scene of an incident.