New ambulance station promised to support paramedics
After 90 years, the Casino ambulance station is getting a much needed upgrade with a new facility expected to be operational within two years.
While it the site of the new station is yet to be determined, the project will provide a state-of-the-art facility for paramedics and the community.
"This (station) has served the community well for something like 90 years, it may have been state of the art then, but as you can see now it's used-by-date has well and truly come and gone," Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis said.
"I'm sure the staff will enjoy working in a new facility and of course the community will have a new ambulance to deliver those health services we really rely on in country areas.
"An ambulance is something we absolutely rely on because our hospitals are few and far between."
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the new station is part of the government's $232 million rural ambulance infrastructure reconfiguration program.
"While the site has not been identified yet, the paramedics here will be consulted and the community will be consulted," Mr Hazzard said.
"We will make sure we have a new station location that really works for the entire community and region.
"This is a high priority for our government.
"The intention is get the land identified as quickly as possible and then commence construction as quickly as possible.
"I would be hopeful the station would be up and operational within he next two to two-and-a-half years, that's the aim.
"Certainly, if we can find the land and get on with it as quickly as possible I think that will be big plus for not only the paramedics but the community."
With 15 new paramedics added to the roster in the last six months at Casino, the new site is welcome news.
"This building is quite dated and with a lot of staffing enhancements recently, we've out grown it as well," Casino-based paramedic Hayley Hemmings said.
"The new stations have a lot more infrastructure and better spaces for going out and treating patients, and also for cleaning, restocking, debriefing and all-around comfort."
The consultation process is expected to start immediately in order to find an appropriate site for the new station.
"There's no particular site at the moment but we have started the modelling so the site we do choose will be appropriately located to impact our response area in the most timely manner we can," NSW Ambulance acting Chief Superintendent Damien Hughes said.