A Timaru ambulance has found a new home base in Washdyke – at least for the next 90 days.
St John and the New Zealand Fire Service have agreed to base one ambulance and crew at Washdyke Fire Station, on a trial basis, for the next three months.
Emergency services officials said one of the major benefits of the move should be to help St John shorten its response times to callouts at the north end of the city.
An ambulance departing from the Washdyke Station can easily avoid many of the traffic and signal delays encountered from the Bank St location.
”We were sent to a Morgans Rd callout and noticed a significant difference,” said St John team leader Darryn Grigsby. ”It was much easier getting to that area.”
A long-term benefit for both agencies will be closer collaboration between ambulance and fire personnel, officials said.
”This allows staff to get to know each other better and build those relationships that are very helpful in the field,” said Fire Service Acting Area Manager Steven Greenyer.
”The Fire Service is doing a lot of medical assistance calls with ambulance, as well, and this helps us to be more familiar with their equipment.”
Mr Greenyer said he’s seen similar collaborations work well in other cities, including Invercargill.
Both Tekapo and Twizel already have ambulance and fire personnel operating out of a shared station, he said.
”It’s a good utilisation of our resources,” he said. ”We have a two-bay station here that can accommodate both.”
The ambulance will be stationed at Washdyke during day shifts only.
After three months officials from both organisations will determine whether to make the arrangement permanent.