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New ambulance station opens in Kendal
A new ambulance hub has been opened in Kendal as paramedics react to a rise in call-outs.
The ribbon was officially cut on the station at Westmorland General Hospital, as bosses also announced plans to take on 20 paramedics and emergency medical technicians in the area.
The new station is the first to open in the North West in several years, with most either being forced to close or merge with others.
It is hoped more calls will now be responded to within the target time of eight minutes.
Rick Shaw, manager of the service in South Cumbria and North Lancashire, said the service had seen a ‘significant rise in calls’ in recent months. He said: “The new station will widen the footprint of the service.
“Facilities are closing or moving into health centres for example, so to have a brand new standalone facility is a significant investment in this area and the people of this area.”
One of Kendal’s three ambulances will now be permanently based at the Westmorland Ambulance Station, to run alongside the existing station on Busher Walk. It also has facilities for a second ambulance and it is hoped this will be utilised in the future.
Six Patient Transport Service (PTS) vehicles and emergency and planned care staff will also be housed at the new base.
It was opened by former patient, Sarah Cropper, who suffered a near-fatal horse-riding accident last April.
She said: “This time last year this site wasn’t here and I needed to have primary assistance. They had to get an ambulance from the other side of Kendal.
“If this facility had been here last year I would have been in a much better position.
“Saying that, I can’t thank the paramedics who helped me enough.”
Chairman of North West Ambulance Service Mary Whyham added: “I know this has been a long time in the making but it is very welcome.
“It looks great and will have lots and lots of benefits for the people of this area.”
The service is now set to hold an open recruitment day, as it prepares to take on 20 paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs).
An open day will also be held at Ulverston ambulance station between 10am and 4pm on Saturday, for those wanting to find out more about the vacancies.