Thursday 26 January 2023
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Nottingham

EMAS pulls out of £3.5m joint fire and ambulance station for Nottinghamshire

Proposals for a new joint fire and ambulance station will not go ahead after East Midlands Ambulance Service backed out of the project.

A study predicted that the costs for the project in Eastwood would be in the region of £3.5m, with a contribution from EMAS of £1.5m.

The plans to replace the current joint fire and ambulance station on the same site in Nottingham Road were discussed during the Fire Authority’s Finances and Resources Committee.

Now, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service is considering whether to continue with the project without EMAS.

Fire authority documents published ahead of the meeting stated: “Unfortunately EMAS, on receiving the benchmark figures and after previously committing to the project have now withdrawn, meaning the original study is now flawed.

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“A request to redo the study for a fire station only has been submitted and a revised fee proposal is awaited.”

The feasibility study looking into the plans, which is costing £16,000, will be considered by the fire service.

Craig Parkin, Chief Fire Officer, said during the meeting on April 22: “The feasibility study is still going ahead. We will get the results and go through things like costs and affordability and make a decision about whether that goes ahead or not.

“At the moment EMAS have pulled out.”

One councillor raised concerns during the meeting over the amount of time it took an ambulance to get to his friend and suggested that the new station could improve the situation in the town.

Eastwood councillor Eddie Cubley (Con) said: “At the weekend, a friend of mine who lives in Eastwood needed an ambulance and it took nearly six hours.

“In the end, I had to get a friend of mine and we had to pick a 92-year-old lady up because we couldn’t get an ambulance.

“I just think if we had a station up there, it might ease things and make things better.”

Mr Parkin replied: “I think that’s representative, certainly from conversations I’ve had with East Midlands Ambulance Service colleagues, they are still seeing demands on them that they see during winter pressures.

“It has been reported on about the amount of ambulances sat at A&Es waiting to discharge their patients into the hospital. It is clearly having an impact nationally at the moment.

“My view about ambulance stations is they’re not for parking ambulances.”

EMAS said their ambulance stations are “bases” for staff to report on duty, take meal breaks and end shifts, as well as a place to maintain vehicles.

They said crews are rarely deployed from stations.

Greg Cox, EMAS Divisional Director for Nottinghamshire said: “Our investment priorities are focussed on fleet, equipment, and frontline colleagues who provide our mobile emergency healthcare service and we continue to have discussions with stakeholders and partners around our developing Estates Strategy.”

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