Fire crews and ambulance staff are to be based under one roof in a shared station in Sleaford from spring, 2018.
As part of a countywide plan for the emergency services to collaborate more closely, improve services to the public and provide value for money, the Sleaford fire station, currently under construction on land off Eastgate, will be the second station in the county to be run in this way with ambulance crews relocating from their base in Kesteven Street.
The new Sleaford station is part of a £6m project, approved by local councillors and county councillors in 2015, which will also include office space for council staff to move from their Riverside offices next to NKDC’s offices.
Richard Hunter, locality manager for East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS), said: “This is an exciting venture for the emergency services in Lincolnshire.
“Residents will be aware that our station on Kesteven Street is old and as a result is getting very expensive to run and maintain. EMAS is a mobile healthcare provider treating patients in their home, at the scene of an incident and en route to hospital if further treatment is required. The majority of our time therefore is spent away from the current ambulance station.
“By teaming up and slightly modifying the new station on Eastgate whilst it is still being built, our staff can access and share better facilities, develop closer working relationships with our fire service colleagues and therefore provide better services for local people.”
Peter Mason, EMAS Head of Blue Light Collaboration added: “EMAS will be making a contribution toward to the cost of the new shared fire and ambulance station.
“Funds raised from the sale of Sleaford ambulance station will enable us to invest in future capital projects such as purchasing more ambulances and further blue light collaboration projects. The funds raised from the sale of the building allows us to ensure we play our part in delivering the right care to patients, in the right way.”
Chief Fire Officer, Nick Borrill, adds: “At a time when public service budgets remain under pressure, innovative collaborative new ways of working are needed to ensure we maintain excellent emergency services for residents, businesses and visitors in Lincolnshire in a cost effective way.
“By co-locating, we can not only save money, but also work more closely together, building a better understanding between our services.
“For example, at the station, we have a simulated search and rescue training facility and a practice road traffic collision area - ideal for firefighters and ambulance crews to train together and develop new ways of working.”
There is predicted to be no delay in opening the new combined building, now planned to be open in spring 2018 after earlier unexpected delays.