The ACT Government has opened a new, expanded non-emergency patient transport facility in Kambah that will free up more ambulances for emergency medical transport.
Eight new staff and a new vehicle have been rolled out with the new facility to enable more services each day and better support for bookings, including on weekends.
The Government spent over $890,000 funding towards the new, larger and better-equipped facility, which replaces the old Curtin facility.
The facility upgrade, which was part of the ESA Station Upgrade and Relocation Strategy the ACT Government has been running across the territory’s emergency services, will provide crews with a more comfortable and functional base that’s better suited to their day-to-day work.
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ACT Ambulance Service chief officer Howard Wren said non-emergency patient transport is frequently overlooked and thanked the Government for the new facility.
“It is a critical component of ACT Ambulance Service,” Mr Wren said. “The ACT Ambulance Service was established in 1968 and for most of that time till now, there has been a non-emergency patient transport capacity.
“It has been in various vehicles and various forms and at the moment what we have is the single largest non-emergency patient transport capacity that we have ever had, in terms of staff numbers and vehicles.”
Chief officer Wren said the location in Kambah was chosen due to the central location between both major hospitals.
Minister for Emergency Service Mick Gentleman said the new facility will ensure the ACT community continues to receive high-quality patient transportation services.
Nearly 20 per cent of calls to ACT Ambulance Service are for non-emergency patient transport to and from aged care facilities, hospitals, clinics and private residences.
“Non-emergency patient transport is an invaluable and often unseen part of the ACT Ambulance Service’s work that accounts for around 20 per cent of the caseload across Canberra,” Mr Gentleman said.
“This provides a dedicated home to grow the service into the future.
“I think it is a fantastic result to bring about first-class opportunity to operate out of and to provide a better service for Canberrans and to ensure that we provide them with the safety they need in emergency patient transport.
“The ACT Government remains committed to the safety of the community and the emergency workers that provide assistance during times of greatest need.”