22/09/2011 - Hereford Ambulance Station Celebrate New Beginnings
A new future for the ambulance service in Herefordshire is on the horizon as principle contractors Thomas Vale Construction have begun the demolition of the current outbuildings including wash bay and workshops, whilst refurbishment has commenced in the main ambulance station off Ross Road on Romany Way.
In early September staff and vehicles normally based at Hereford ambulance station decanted to temporary premises on the Rotherwas Trading Estate. The main station’s refurbishment which will include better office facilities, new windows, new toilet and shower rooms and a larger kitchen area, this will be complete by mid-November. Staff will then return to the office accommodation whilst the contractors continue the construction of the new build workshop, to be known as the ‘hub’ this is due for completion mid January 2012.
Rob Lashford, Divisional Director, Thomas Vale Construction; ‘We are really delighted to be providing West Midlands Ambulance Service with these very much needed facilities in Hereford.”
The work is part of a system called ‘Make Ready’. The hub in Hereford (which will also incorporate an ambulance station) will be where the county’s ambulances and rapid response vehicles are serviced, repaired, cleaned and stored ready to support the community in the event of emergency. Unlike the current workshops, the maintenance of the fleet will be a round-the-clock operation carried out by a newly appointed team of Ambulance Fleet Assistants.
Ambulance crews will collect their vehicles from the hub at the start of their shift, then go to Community Ambulance stations across the county from where they will respond to 999 calls.
At the moment there are five ambulance stations in Herefordshire. Under the ‘Make Ready’ system, there will be eight bases; the hub in Hereford and seven Community Ambulance Stations. Community Ambulance Stations will be based in Hereford (x2), in Ross, Ledbury, Leominster and Bromyard. There will be a new Community Ambulance Station in Kington.
In Ross-on-Wye, Ledbury, Leominster, Bromyard and Kington round-the-clock teams of Community Paramedics will also operate; dedicated to their respective areas. Trained to an advanced paramedic level, the Community Paramedics will have additional skills to diagnose and, where possible, treat patients at the scene or at home without the need to take them to A&E. In addition to responding to medical emergencies they will work in the community to help prevent illness and injury and therefore the need to call for an ambulance in the first place