PARAMEDICS are reaching code one patients in South Gippsland faster, according to new data released by Ambulance Victoria.

Code one patients require urgent paramedic and hospital care, and receive a lights and sirens response.

In the first three months of 2020, paramedics responded in an average time of 17.49mins in South Gippsland, as opposed to 19.03mins a year ago.

And paramedics treated more patients in the area in the first quarter of 2020, attending 402 call-outs, as opposed to 372 in the first quarter of 2019.

In Bass Coast, the average response time also reduced from 14.14mins to 14.05mins while treating more patients.

The state-wide data on the first quarter of 2020 was marked by fluctuations in activity caused by the coronavirus pandemic and widespread bushfires.

Despite the significant interruptions caused by the pandemic, hospitals and ambulances continued to manage activity well, even as they quickly began preparations to increase capacity ahead of the predicted pandemic peak, the state government said.

Hospital and ambulance activity initially continued at high levels – including a spike in call-outs and presentations for respiratory symptoms, as bushfire smoke blanketed large parts of the state.

This put Victoria on track to once again break records for high activity, but with the outbreak of coronavirus and strong physical distancing measures put in place to slow the spread of virus, demand has now reduced significantly.