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Ambulance crews to go local

PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:33 03 March 2010

WOODBRIDGE is to get a new standby post for ambulance crews to use between emergencies.

The new post, to be opened in nearby Melton next month, is designed to help the East Anglian Ambulance Trust shave minutes off response times because crews will be effectively "on the road" instead of back at base.

WOODBRIDGE is to get a new standby post for ambulance crews to use between emergencies.

The new post, to be opened in nearby Melton next month, is designed to help the East Anglian Ambulance Trust shave minutes off response times because crews will be effectively "on the road" instead of back at base.

Some ambulance stations are not ideally placed in relation to the bulk of emergency 999 calls, so special standby posts are being established, including one that was launched in an industrial unit at Pakefield, Lowestoft, yesterday and was welcomed by crews.

With the emphasis on "location, location, location", other places will include Caister, Great Yarmouth and St Ives in Cambridgeshire.

They have been chosen - along with Woodbridge and Ipswich as revealed in the Evening Star in July - as the sites with the best routes to reach as many patients as possible within eight minutes. The service is still looking for a permanent standby post in Ranelagh Road, Ipswich, where a crew can get refreshments and use facilities.

Paul Sutton, director of operations strategy, said: "In the past ambulance crews would have returned to base after every job. More recently, people have been accustomed to seeing ambulances in standby in various locations, from lay-bys to fast food outlet car parks.

"Now we are going a step further by providing crews with a permanent response post, a sort of mini base, for them to operate from.

"They will not replace ambulance stations, but will be an additional site."

The posts will be equipped with at least a television, video, tea and coffee and lounge facilities, comfortable chairs and toilets.

They could be next to police or fire stations, or in separate self-contained units.

The aim is to give crew a secure, comfortable and affordable base to work from, while at the same time locating them in a better position.

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