Ambulance Employees’ Association of South Australia

The AEA was formed in 1981 by South Australian Ambulance Officers so they could collectively pool their resources to protect their interests at work and advance their ability to care for South Australians. Back then they were fighting for increased training & education standards, and increased ambulance roster coverage for the safety of the community. It took several years of campaigning which culminated in 1989 with St John (the employer at the time) standing down the entire workforce. After just a few days, the Service was brought to its knees, and agreed to the conditions sought by members.

Since this ‘dispute of ‘89’ the AEA has always had a role in advocating for the community on behalf of its members and has sustained that ethos to this very day. Our members are deeply passionate about delivering safe, quality patient care in peoples time of need.

The AEA of SA is unique in that we are one of the last small unions in Australia. We are an independent, stand-alone union, not affiliated with any political party. We represent 99.5% of South Australian ambos including Paramedics, Ambulance Officers, all of the members that work ‘behind the scenes’ in the Emergency Operations (Communications) Centre, Administrative staff across the Service, Technicians & Mechanics that service the fleet of ambulances across the State.

Our members work in the Health industry that is heavily steeped in evidence-based practice. By extension, the AEA operates from a base of valuing research and evidence to inform the positions we take, and initiatives we seek as an evolving membership. One such initiative is the AEA commissioned scoping Literature Review by Flinders University into health and wellbeing of ambulance staff undertaken in 2019.

The risks facing the community today are greater than ever, in terms of safe and accessible emergency medical care. The under-funding and under-resourcing of the SA Ambulance Service, and the Health system more broadly, is having devastating consequences for South Australians. Patients are currently facing record long wait times for medical emergencies, and record long ramping times for patients once they do get to hospital.

The AEA of SA continues to fight for the health and wellbeing of our members, and the safety of their patients.

We now ask you; our patients, friends, family, community, to join our fight.

Public Rally, Steps of Parliament House – April 1st 2021