FoI response - ACT Ambulance

Freedom of Information stamp

SOfASD received the material below relating to training of ACT ambulance officers in relation to autistic patients.

It includes:

  • a Powerpoint presentation from 2010
  • video from 2016 of a 2 hour comprehensive presentation about ASD to ambulance officers
  • several letters ... mostly FoI administration

This material was provided as a result of a Freedom of Information request to the ACT government following on from correspondence with the ACT Minister, see

The decision letter, signed by Georgina Whelan, Information Officer, says:

Through their tertiary qualifications, the Graduate Training Program, and ongoing training, I am confident that ACTAS paramedics are appropriately skilled in the various ways in which patients may present and how to treat them. This includes people with autism.

Such a judgment is not the role of an Information Officer. She provides no basis for such a claim. Generally, emergency services staff are not adequately trained in effective treatment/management of autistic people. Based on the other material provided, there are clear signs of a degree of autism awareness but there is no reason to think ACTAS is significantly better than other ambulance services in this regard. Generally, ASD communities judge that ambulance services should be better prepared to autistic patients. Sad to say, the term "appropriately skilled" is not how the ASD community would regard their status based on the training shown here.

see also FoI - AFP have no ongoing training in ASD