Ambulance Service of New South Wales
  1. Home
  2. Our Performance
  3. Response Times
  4. Response Times 2010/11
Print this page Reduce font size Increase font size

Response Times 2010/11

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 2010/11 the 50th percentile (median) response time for potentially life-threatening cases was 10.60 minutes for the State (this means that at least 50 per cent of potentially life threatening cases were responded to within 10.60 minutes) and 10.33 minutes for the Sydney metropolitan area. The deterioration in response performance is primarily due to longer off stretcher times which limited the overall availability of ambulances to respond. 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 50th percentile response time for the highest priority cases is shown below.


 

Control Centre call answering performance

The table below shows the percentage of emergency calls (from Triple Zero "000") answered by each of Ambulances four Control Centres within 10 seconds and 45 seconds.

Control Centre

Calls answered in 10 sec (%)

Calls answered in 45 sec (%)

Sydney 

93.1

99.5

Northern

92.1

99.3

Southern

91.6

99.3

Western

90.4

99.7

Total

92.5

99.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2010/11, 92.5 per cent of emergency calls were answered in 10 seconds. By 45 seconds 99.4 per cent of emergency calls were answered.

Aeromedical Activity

In addition to road ambulance responses, the Ambulance Service tasks 4 fixed wing aircraft and 9 helicopters.

Fixed Wing are aircraft are located in Sydney (Sydney Airport) and Dubbo.

Helicopters are located at Lismore, Newcastle, Tamworth, Sydney (3), Orange, Wollongong and Canberra

Fixed Wing
In 2010 - 2011 the fixed wing fleet transported 6,215 patients. The activity for the last 3 years is illustrated below.

 

Helicopter
In 2010 - 2011 the helicopter network undertook a total of 3471 mission. There were 1782 responses to accidents and rescues and 1689 interhospital transfers. Overall helicopter missions are decreasing. This is due to a reduction in interhospital transfers because more patients are being taken directly to the hospital that can provide their definitive care and not require a second transfer. The activity for the last 3 years is illustrated below.


Helicopter Response Time
Helicopter emergency response time is the period between the helicopter being tasked and the time the helicopter takes-off. Like all aircraft aviation planning is required before a helicopter can take off.

The 50th percentile response time for emergency rescue and accident incidents is the key measure. The expected response time performance is 15 minutes during the day and 30 minutes at night.

The day & night time performance is illustrated below.

Day time performance

2009-10

2010-11

Sydney

9 minutes

9 minutes

Wollongong

10 minutes

10 minutes

Orange

9 minutes

8 minutes

Canberra*

20 minutes

14 minutes

Lismore

12 minutes

13 minutes

Newcastle

9 minutes

10 minutes

Tamworth

8 minutes

9 minutes

 

Night time performance

2009-10

2010-11

Sydney

10 minutes

12 minutes

Wollongong

10 minutes

12 minutes

Orange**

N/A

N/A

Canberra*

27 minutes

26 minutes

Lismore

18 minutes

17 minutes

Newcastle

11 minutes

12 minutes

Tamworth**

N/A

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* Note - In 2010/2011 the staffing arrangements for the Canberra helicopter changed to improve response times.
** Orange and Tamworth are daytime only services.

Helicopter Availability

Like all aircraft, helicopters require regular maintenance to ensure safety and performance. The contract arrangements between the Ambulance Service and its helicopter providers allow for helicopters to be offline for maintenance for a prescribed period each month. The allowed time varies between 20 hours per month to 144 hours per month depending on the requirements of individual contracts.

The average monthly offline time for each service is given in the following table.

Average monthly offline time (hours)

2009-10

2010-11

Sydney Helicopter 1

10.9

45.3

Sydney Helicopter 2

13.0

27.3

Wollongong

26.4

22.3

Orange

8.7

11.0

Canberra*

17.6

18.6

Lismore

56.9

17.8

Newcastle

18.7

15.1

Tamworth

48.2

20.9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The increase in the offline time for the two Sydney helicopters in 2010-2011 was due to mandatory safety upgrades for the Sydney AW 139 helicopters. These upgrades are now complete.