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Spare Officer FAQs

Spare Officer Frequently Asked Questions.

Before you contact the AEAWA please see if the below FAQ’s can assist you.


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If I get sent to a different depot to work after the start of my shift, can I take an Ambulance?

Yes, you can take an ambulance to travel to whichever depot you are being sent. This is the preferred method for our members to travel to between locations while on shift, for a number of reasons:

  • Your personal car insurance is most likely cover for ‘private a commuting’ use. This means your insurer may considered travelling during work hours as ‘work use’ and invalidate your insurance. Driving an ambulance or other work vehicle will mean you are correctly insured in the event of an accident and will be a clear-cut scenario in regard to any workers compensation issues.
  • Having to return an ambulance to your starting location is an added incentive to get you back to this depot on time.

Am I entitled to a P8 back to returning to my starting depot?

In regard to P8 return to depot for a dynamically deployed crew, the current policy is that:

“Crews who are dynamically deployed will be provided a Priority 8 card allowing adequate travel time to return to their original station as per the Standard Operating Procedure, Vehicle Deployment (SOPC-1001). While on the Priority 8 card, the crew can be tasked to a Priority 0 or 1 case. Consideration may be given to Priority 2 cases if no other resource is available within a reasonable travel distance to meet the community response. An on-scene take-over crew will be considered if the situation results in the above scenarios.”
If your travel time back to your start depot (and then on to home) will be excessive or unreasonable, please contact MMSOC early into the shift and advise as to the relevant points of the ‘Reasonable Overtime’ clause 30.12. However, if you are a single officer returning to a location, you should request a P8 for return to depot and while a single officer you cannot be tasked to any call.

Can I have my start time moved two hours before a night shift?

Firstly, it is important to remember you are under no obligation to answer your phone, read or act upon messages received in your downtime. The AEAWA is aware that rosters have begun to indicate a dual start time for Spare officers (for instance JOOSP D0700/0800 & N1800-1900).
It is our view a spare officer is, by default, also a rotating officer and that this start time range is not a ‘start time’ in accordance with 30.12(c) of the Agreement, which states:
“Rotating Officers will be rostered to the same shift start time for a minimum 4-week period, unless agreed between St John and the Employee. A minimum of 21 days’ notice will be provided when there is a change in shift start time.”
The new practice does not even make sense in the context of 30.13(c) and 30.13(d) which respectively state;
  • “Spare officers must report for duty according to the roster unless otherwise directed.”
  • “Spare officers who are not rostered to a vehicle at a Station are required to contact the Duty Manager, State Operations Centre at the commencement of duty.”
In the context of the above, when exactly must a Spare officer (who is supposedly on two different start times) supposed to ‘report for duty’ and what is considered the time of ‘commencement of duty’?
We have written our strong objections to St John (attached) and informed them we will be advising our members who are rostered spare to assume 0700 and 1800 start times. It is the AEAWA view that you cannot have your start time changed ad-hoc prior to the start of your shift. This practice is designed to simply ‘prop up’ rostering deficiencies, and can have a huge impact on the ability of our members to plan life outside of work, organise child care, and manage their fatigue.

I have another question not covered here!

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