Wednesday, 08 September 2010 13:13
Vital facts on new Pinjarra Hills ambulance station
I was finally able to get some background to the government’s decision to site the new ambulance station at Pinjarra Hills.
Overwhelming need for a new ambulance station
Figures produced for me by the Queensland Ambulance Service show an overwhelming need for a new ambulance station in our area. Regular readers will be aware that I have fought for the past five years for a new ambulance station and for improved ambulance response times as our local area has suffered one of the poorest ambulance response times in Brisbane.
Ambulances have had a huge number of calls in the area that would be serviced by the Pinjarra Hills ambulance station:
|No. of code 1 and code 2 callouts||1,187||1,286||1,366|
Our magnificent First Responders have responded to 800 emergency calls! (You will recall that when I first started calling for a new ambulance station the initial response was to set up the First Responders Program. The magnificent work done by the First Responders and the huge number of callouts was instrumental in impressing upon the government the justification and need behind our call for a new ambulance station.)
Government’s rationale for site
The stated rationale for choosing the Pinjarra Hills site is that most of our local area was not serviced within recommended time for emergency callouts. They have attempted to choose a site that would be within seven minutes (not including the time taken to receive the emergency call and allocate the job) of the areas that have not been adequately serviced out of Kenmore station in particular Moggill/Bellbowrie, Pullenvale and Brookfield.
The recommended response time for an emergency call is 10 minutes but this would include the time taken to deal with the emergency call.
Sites that were considered
The Ambulance Service informed me that they looked at a number of local sites including the Ergon site at the corner of Grandview Road and Moggill Road (but Ergon indicated they did not have any land to spare as land was being held for future expansion), and a block on Montanus Drive at Bellbowrie although the block was later found not to be for sale. The Ambulance Service informed me they need approximately 3,000 m2.
I asked about the site at the current fire station on the corner of Pullenvale Road and Moggill Road and they appeared to hold no particular view.
When will the ambulance station be built?
The timeline is completely uncertain although $300,000 has been allocated in this budget with the balance in next year’s budget. $300,000 will mostly be eaten up in professional fees and planning. The best guess for completion at this stage would be some time in 2012 but stay tuned.
What will be included?
It is expected this will be a 24 hour station (although I would watch this space). The station is planned for 16 staff and one officer in charge.
There would be four vehicles, three Mercedes ambulance vehicles and one car vehicle. It is anticipated that one ambulance and crew would commence their 12 hour shift at 7 am. The second would commence their 12 hour shift at 10 am, and a single crew would service the overnight hours.
What will be the future of First Responders?
Interestingly the intention is to maintain and even increase the number of First Responders in the local area. This suggests that Queensland Ambulance Service isn’t confident that emergency response times will be totally fixed. Readers should bear in mind that an ambulance station unlike a fire station generally does not have a vehicle and crew sitting on site. In fact, vehicles and crews would be almost constantly out on jobs so this may be a good decision for the local area.
I am glad to be able to finally give you some further information and as I have said before, I’m disappointed with the lack of local consultation, however there is an overwhelming need for a new ambulance station and given the enormous numbers of local emergencies, a properly equipped ambulance station that effectively reduces the response times in emergencies can be expected to save lives.