Wrexham Council backs plans for joint Ambulance and Fire Services Resource CentrePosted
Plans for a new Ambulance and Fire Services Resource Centre have been given backing by Wrexham Council.
Permission for the construction of the joint facility on land south of the Maelor Hospital on Croesnewydd Road was granted by the council's planning committee last night (Tuesday 6 May, 2014).
A Full Business Case, which outlines the finer details of the development, was approved by the North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority and the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust Board in March, and is now with Welsh Government for consideration.
Welsh Government must approve the funding for the Full Business Case before construction of the new facility goes ahead.
The new development, if approved, will provide better facilities for staff, as well as an improved service for the public and patients in the Wrexham and surrounding area.
Elwyn Price-Morris, Chief Executive of the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: "We are delighted that Wrexham Council has given its
backing to this project, but this is the first stage of a long process.
"We believe that the resource centre will increase the amount of time clinicians will spend face-to-face with patients delivering care, and improve the cleanliness of vehicles and reduce the risk of cross infection.
"Along with this is, of course, the added bonus of being co-located with emergency service colleagues with whom we already have a close working relationship and attend many incidents together."
Chief Fire Officer Simon Smithsaid that North Wales Fire and Rescu Service recognises the benefits of collaborating on its long-term estates strategy.
He said: "We entered into this partnership with the aspiration of creating a joint facility we could be proud of, in the same way that the Joint Communications Centre with North Wales Police has provided an innovative approach to joint emergency services working that places North Wales at the forefront of 999 operations.
"It has taken time to find a mutually agreeable site, agree on costs and progress with the project but I am delighted that we are now in a position to take the initiative forward as it presents us with the best opportunity possible to provide both improved facilities for our staff and a better service for the public in the area."
If approved, the new Ambulance and Fire Services Resource Centre will replace the existing fire station at Bradley Road in Wrexham, and the existing ambulance stations at Chirk and Wrexham.
Emergency ambulance cover will not be affected and will be maintained by deploying resources from strategically located deployment points.
Once ambulance crews have booked on duty at the new facility, they will be moved to where evidence suggests the next 999 call will come from so that they are in the best possible position to respond to calls in these communities and beyond.
The fire accommodation will incorporate a local community safety office and an eight-bay fire station. There will also be a state-of-the-art
training house and drill tower with a road traffic collision training area.
The ambulance accommodation will include a fleet workshop, offices, a make ready facility and a deployment base for response staff.
Facilities like the rest room, dining rooms, main office, lockers, meeting and training rooms will be shared by both services.
There will also be an opportunity for members of the public to book a meeting room for public events.
The Welsh Ambulance Service and North Wales Fire and Rescue Service will be investing more than £15 million in the joint facility which will be due for completion at the end of 2015, providing Welsh Government approves the Final Business Case.
The development will provide modern, improved and upgraded services, and make the best use of resources for both organisations.
Both organisations have worked together in partnership to produce a joint Operational Policy which will continue to evolve as the project enters the
construction and operational phases.