“Make Ready” is a new service that sees a specialist team carrying out work, including stock and vehicle maintenance checks and deep cleaning. This is work currently completed by crews as they start their shifts, so it will allow them to report to the station and immediately become available to respond to patients.
The newly developed base will improve staff, office, training and parking facilities. It will be as close to carbon-neutral building standards as possible, gas-free and highly insulated. It will include LED lighting, triple glazing, Air Source Heat Pumps (for heat and hot water), solar power, and a building management system (BMS) for smart building environment control.
Before demolition work began, staff and resources moved to a temporary site on Devonshire Road with ambulance workshop staff relocated to our site in Broughton. Building work is due to be completed by the end of the year.
Head of Service for Cumbria and Lancashire Gene Quinn says, “Following the months of preparatory work, it’s exciting to see work beginning on-site. While it will seem like an end of an era for many, the future is very exciting, especially for the staff who will benefit from the new modern work environment when it is completed.
“The building like the smaller stations in the area needed repair and was no longer fit for purpose. We are delighted to be able to offer staff who work incredibly hard a much improved environment to enjoy their breaks as well train and develop their skills.”
The new Waterloo Road station will operate as part of a “hub and spoke” model meaning the eventual phased closure of stations in Fleetwood, Lytham, Wesham and Thornton. It’s a model we’ve introduced in other North West locations and replicated around the country.”
The ‘hub and spoke’ model means one large ‘hub’ station surrounded by smaller ‘spoke’ sites such as health centres, fire stations and police stations. Some ambulances then start their shift from there rather than a dedicated ambulance station.
Gene commented, “This model was introduced in Greater Manchester five years ago, and we’ve seen no negative impact on local communities where stations closed. In most cases, when people call for an ambulance, it isn’t dispatched from a local station. In fact, in Fylde and Wyre, more than 60 per cent of despatches occur while the ambulance is on the road. Crews rarely go back to their base stations before the end of the shifts except for their allocated breaks.”
“Because of this, we are confident that the public will see no adverse difference in response times, and the community will have the same number of resources available to them as they do now. They will just start their shift from a ‘spoke’ site in the community rather than a bricks and mortar ambulance station.”