Ambulance station to shut but no reduction in cover

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RYE Ambulance station is destined to close it has been confirmed this week.

But Ambulance Service bosses have promised the same level of cover for the Rye area and even an improved service.

22/10/13- Rye Ambulance Station.

22/10/13- Rye Ambulance Station.

James Pavey, Senior Operations Manager for SE Coast Ambulance Service (SECAM) explained the situation when Rye Council’s public services committee met on Monday.

He said: “Rye Ambulance Station dates from the late 1960’s and is getting on a bit. It has always had one ambulance operating from Rye.

“Our operational model has evolved and changed somewhat over the years. We have to make the best of our limited resources.

“We now have a system called ‘Make Ready’ where our ambulances are kitted and fitted and cleaned so crews can be fully operational. This takes place at our Hastings base.

“Rye Ambulance Station has come to the end of it’s natural life. It is a large building with four bays. It has offices attached to it which nobody occupies for the vast majority of time.

“Unfortunately the building has decayed and got to the point where we now have to pay a substantial amount of money to bring it up to standard. In a short time it will not be fit for human habitation.

“Staff will start and finish at the larger Hastings centre and we will send resources out from that point.

“We respond to people, not buildings, and where there are more people there is going to be more activity - data has shown this.

“We have had discussions with the local hospital at Rye and an opportunity has come up for us to sell the ambulance station site.

“It is a large site, it is bigger than we need it to be and at any one time there will be just one ambulance there. It is not fulfilling a training purpose.

“An opportunity came up to sell the site to the hospital and the hospital, as part of that deal, has agreed to build us a smaller unit more suitable to our purposes.

“We have a strong network of community responders who provide life saving care and support us. They are in addition to services we provide.

“We can also provide staff with better training and development from the larger site at Hastings.

“People get nervous about change but deployment remains the same. We will be giving Rye the same cover and in fact cover will improve slightly.

“We are not changing the way we deploy our services.”

Rye county councillor Keith Glazier said: “I agree. We should be looking at services not getting hung-up on buildings.”

SECAM said they had looked in detail at sharing resources at Rye Police Station but there were concerns that ambulances could be delayed by traffic snarl-ups in Cinque Ports Street.

James Pavey said: “Being right in the middle of Rye is not necessarily where we need to be.”