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Home from home for ambulance crews

PUBLISHED: 19:00 03 December 2001 | UPDATED: 10:58 03 March 2010

AMBULANCE crews are to wait for 999 calls at "home from homes" rather than return to Ipswich Ambulance Station between each job.

The new move will see response posts being opened on the Chantry estate in Ipswich and at Melton this week.

AMBULANCE crews are to wait for 999 calls at "home from homes" rather than return to Ipswich Ambulance Station between each job.

The new move will see response posts being opened on the Chantry estate in Ipswich and at Melton this week.

It will enable crews to shave vital minutes off response times - which Suffolk staff are leading the way with, this month.

Suffolk Commander Frank Harradence was delighted to report that Suffolk crews have got to 75 per cent of emergencies in eight minutes last week - proudly meeting the tough new national response target which comes into force next April.

Last Tuesday paramedics got to 69.9 per cent of calls in eight minutes, and hope to achieve 70pc as the monthly average.

That compares with counterparts in Cambridgeshire and Norfolk who are getting to 61pc and 62 pc respectively.

Meanwhile, the new Suffolk response posts are today being prepared, off Wallers Grove, on Chantry, and in an industrial unit near the railway line at Melton.

Building alterations are being done, and a microwave, television, video, radio, cooker and easy chairs are being installed in both.

The Chantry response post will be a trial idea, until March 31, with the option of becoming a permanent facility after then if it is successful.

Crews will use it between jobs, or when several ambulance are at the main ambulance station, crews will be sent on to Melton or Chantry instead.

It will be a far cry from several years ago, when crews always returned to the station. In recent years, they have waited at the roadside for calls.

Mr Harradence said: "We need to be 100 per cent sure this response post will make it possible for us to cover the whole of west Ipswich in eight minutes. It will certainty work for the service to the Chantry estate where there are many families and elderly people, and we have a lot of calls to that part of town. It will literally save minutes on response times. But we want it to help with calls to Bramford and other places in that direction too."

The Melton response post will be a permanent base, and a six-year lease on the industrial unit has been signed.

Both posts are due to open to crews next week.

They follow successful introductions of response posts in Lowestoft which are already reaping rewards.

The ambulance service is still looking for premises to convert to a response post in Ranelagh Road or London Road, Ipswich.

weblink: www.eastanglianambulance.com


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