Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply to become a volunteer?
Becoming a volunteer with SA Ambulance Service is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
1. Fill out the online application form belowApply Today
2. We will be in touch to arrange an interview time with you
3. If you pass our medical and screening requirements, you can begin your training
What are the requirements to become an operational volunteer?
You will need your:
- Current driver’s licence
- National Police Check (we will assist you to obtain this)
- Working with Children Check (we will assist you to obtain this)
- Relevant VISA and passport (if not an Australian resident)
- Pass a medical assessment (we will provide paperwork for your doctor to complete)
I live in metropolitan Adelaide. Can I volunteer at SAAS?
Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us.
Adelaide metro residents are encouraged to apply, however, priority will be given to people who live in country towns where our volunteer stations are.
Where is my closest volunteer ambulance station?
Check out our interactive map.
I want to be a paramedic. Will I have more of a chance of getting a job at SA Ambulance Service if I have been a volunteer ambulance officer?
Not necessarily. Being an operational ambulance volunteer does not automatically increase your chances 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 us. Check out I Work for SA for more information.
I already volunteer for my local Country Fire Service brigade. Can I also be a volunteer at SA Ambulance Service?
Yes, you can! If you meet the eligibility checklist and any other requirements of being a SA Ambulance Service volunteer, there is nothing to stop you from doing both.
If your brigade need you at the same time you are on shift with SA Ambulance Service, you’ll need to remain available or arrange for someone to cover your ambulance shift.
Check out Is this you? to see if volunteering with us can fit into your life.
I hold a visa that allows me to live/study/work in Australia. Can I volunteer at SAAS?
It very much depends on the classification of your visa. Please call the Department of Home Affairs on 131 881 or visit the Department of Home Affairs website.
Due to our Registered Training Organisation (RTO 0264) accreditation requirements, we cannot accept applications from holders with an international student visa.
Do I have to pay for my ambulance training?
Not at all. SA Ambulance Service will pay for your training to become an Ambulance Assist (Certificate II in Medical Service and First Response), Ambulance Responder and Ambulance Officer (Certificate IV in Health Care), and we will support you through all the stages. The nationally accredited training courses give you the skills and confidence to take control in an emergency and save the lives of others.
I do not have a full driver’s licence. Can I still be an operational ambulance volunteer?
If you would like to join us as an operational ambulance volunteer recruit, you must be over 17 years old and hold a driver’s licence that allows you to drive in South Australia. 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 operational ambulance volunteer.
If you do not have a driver’s licence or have a learner’s permit there may be non-operational roles available at your local station.
Email SAASVolunteer@sa.gov.au with your name, phone number and address to find out more.
I don’t want to be an operational ambulance volunteer, but I still want to help. Are there any roles for me?
Yes, some volunteer teams have non-operational roles available at their station. These include roles such as administration, gardening, cleaning and stocking ambulances, information technology support to the team and assisting with recruitment and community engagement activities. To find out how you can help out your local volunteer team please email SAASVolunteer@sa.gov.au with your name, phone number and address, and we’ll find out what is available in your area.
I don’t live in South Australia. Can I study your courses?
No. The training is not offered externally and is only for people who are active volunteers for SA Ambulance Service.
I don’t have any experience in the medical field. Can I still apply?
Yes, you can apply. You do not need any medical experience or training to become an operational ambulance volunteer. We provide all the 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?
Simply email SAASVolunteer@sa.gov.au with your name, phone number and address. Also, members from our volunteer teams are happy to meet with applicants to talk about volunteering at SA Ambulance Service and answer any of your questions. To arrange a meeting, please call the Volunteer Support Unit on 1300 136 272 during business hours.
What age do you need to be to become a volunteer?
If you would like to join us as an operational ambulance volunteer recruit, you must be at least 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 operational ambulance volunteer (Ambulance Assist).
There is no maximum age for our volunteers. We welcome people of any age, so long as you are fit and healthy, and able to meet our medical requirements.
Can I still be a volunteer if I work full time?
Yes, if you have time. Many of our volunteers have full-time employment in another field.
For non-operational roles we would be happy to work around your availability.
To become an operational ambulance volunteer, you will need to do the training and be on the roster. Operational 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. See this factsheet about how this works and how it can benefit a business.
What time commitment is required to maintain your operational ambulance volunteer status?
The minimum requirement for operational ambulance volunteers is to first attain your Ambulance Assist authority to practice by completing HLT21015 Certificate II in Medical Service First Response (150 hours of self-paced learning and assessment in addition to 250 hours of work placement in a supervised environment over 3 to 12 months).
Once you have successfully achieved this certification you will be required to commit to 30 hours per month on roster, plus on station training attendance. This is to ensure you remain up to date with the knowledge needed to care for patients. Depending on the station, training may be weekly or fortnightly, and some is available online. When training to achieve additional qualifications, you will be required to do extra study.
Can I receive recognition of prior learning (RPL) for any part of the training?
Yes. We recognise that our volunteers may have experience and/or qualifications that relate to our courses. SAAS is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO 0264) and you can apply for RPL prior to you commencing your training.
However, even if you obtain RPL, you will still need to do some training that is specific to SA Ambulance Service. This may involve training to use our equipment to ensure you use it safely.
Can I apply any time, or do I need to wait until you are advertising?
You can apply to become a volunteer at any time. If you are interested in becoming an operational ambulance volunteer recruit, training courses are scheduled approximately every 10-12 weeks.
How will the training be conducted?
Depending on the station, regular training for accredited operational ambulance volunteers may be weekly or fortnightly, and some is available online.
Our nationally accredited certifications are delivered through a blended mode of delivery including online self-directed learning, webinars and face-to-face sessions to practice skills and conduct assessments.
Can I become a volunteer if I have diabetes, asthma or other medical condition?
Possibly. A person with a medical condition can apply to become an operational ambulance volunteer, but it will be up to your medical practitioner and our occupational physician to decide if you are fit for operational ambulance duties.
For safety reasons, we ensure all 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 cannot become an operational ambulance volunteer.
However, there may be non-operational volunteering roles that might interest you. Find out more here.
Please note that operational ambulance volunteers are required to achieve and maintain their immunity against certain vaccine preventable diseases. If you would like to become a volunteer ambulance officer recruit, you must provide confirmation of immune status during the application process. We will cover the costs associated with this.
How close do I have to live to a town to volunteer in that team?
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. The local team leader can discuss this further with you, should you decide to volunteer with us.
I am already a health care professional (i.e. Registered Nurse) or have completed HLT41115 Certificate IV in Health Care with another RTO. Do I have to do the same training/pathway as someone who has no previously healthcare experience?
The option for health care professionals joining as a volunteer is a process called Non Standard Entry, which we can discuss with you when you apply. You will still need to complete the Ambulance Assist course, which provides the induction needed to become a volunteer at SA Ambulance Service.