‘Victory for common sense’

Campaigners were celebrating a ‘victory for common sense’ this week following the decision to keep an ambulance station in Retford .

Friday, 29th March 2013, 9:24 am
Councillors and supporters at the recent EMAS meeting (w130325-4)

East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) trust board agreed to develop plans to create nine hubs, 19 ambulance stations and 108 community ambulance stations.

The ambulance station in Retford was origanlly earmarked for closure, but the proposals faced a feirce campaign in Bassetlaw.

Around 19,000 people signed a petition against the plans which would have also seen the station in Worksop close.

But following a consultation EMAS has decided to procceed with its five year plan which includes keeping the station in Retford open, as a community ambulance station.

A decision on if the station will remain on Great North Road is still to be made. One possibility would see the ambulance service share a building with the fire service.

Save Our Services (SOS) campaign spokesman and Retford councillor Adele Mumby said: “It’s a victory for the whole of the community.”

“Everybody got behind the campaign and were fantastic - we haven’t backed down.”

“We were fighting to keep provision in Basstlaw. The location of Retford ambulance station might move but it will still remain in Retford. We haven’t lost the service.”

Bassetlaw MP John Mann said: “This is a common sense victory on every issue, thank you EMAS for listening to the people of Bassetlaw and thank you to the SOS team and the campaigners for working so hard, this could not have been achieved without everyone working together”.

EMAS chief executive Phil Milligan said: “The introduction of community ambulance stations will mean crews no longer have to return to large urban-centre ambulance stations and will be less likely to be drawn away from more rural areas. Indeed, we have also announced a trial of community paramedic schemes – which will see paramedics ring-fenced to a rural area, ensuring a local presence.”