Adelaide Hills residents have been given their first glimpse of the $2.2 million ambulance station planned for Birdwood, with the Marshall Liberal Government unveiling the building design.
Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade confirmed the project would deliver the town of Birdwood its first ever purpose-built SA Ambulance Service (SAAS) station, replacing the ageing facility at Mount Pleasant that is no longer fit for purpose.
“The new station, located on Harms Avenue, will provide a modern, first class facility for our hard-working ambulance crews. The station will be bigger, with the capacity to accommodate approximately 50 volunteer staff and three vehicles,” Minister Wade said.
“The population across the Hills region is growing, and we need to ensure that our stations have enough room to accommodate our staff and fleet into the future, along with a better space for training.
“The Marshall Government is committed to upgrading and rebuilding ambulance stations to ensure that our ambulance staff can deliver the very best care to all South Australians. We have delivered 65 new or upgraded stations across the state over the past four years.”
“We are also actively investing in health services in the Hills. In the last two months alone, we have introduced My Home Hospital to the Hills and have opened a Priority Care Centre in Mount Barker. Additionally, construction work will soon begin on the Emergency Department redevelopment at Mount Barker District Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital.
“All of these investments are easing pressure on the local ambulance service. Every patient that can receive their treatment in Mt Barker means an ambulance doesn’t need to go down the hill – the travel time alone is a significant drain on our ambulance resources.
“We are continuing to boost ambulance resources and just last week we announced we are investing $30 million to add 51 paramedics to the SAAS workforce over the next 12 months. There are now more paramedics, ambulance officers and Triple Zero call takers in South Australia than ever before.
“South Australia is spending more per capita on our ambulance service than any other mainland state or territory.”
The Birdwood build forms part of the Marshall Liberal Government’s $11.7 million commitment to the SAAS Country Capital Reserve Fund over four years, which includes stations to be rebuilt in Strathalbyn, Port Augusta, Roxby Downs and Hawker and major upgrades of stations at Meadows, Goolwa, Port Broughton, Tailem Bend, Gladstone, Kapunda, Coonalpyn and Lameroo.
Construction of the stations in Strathalbyn and Port Augusta are expected to start later this year.
Interim SA Ambulance Service Chief Executive Officer, Rob Elliott, said the move from Mt Pleasant to Birdwood for the new station followed careful planning and understanding of the demand in the area.
“The current Mount Pleasant station has been in operation for more than 35 years and in recent times our crews have outgrown the facilities,” Mr Elliott said.
“Our volunteers are looking forward to calling the new Birdwood station home, and I thank them for embracing the move.
“Planning and approval is complete, and a contractor has been recommended. We are very excited to see building works start in the coming months.”
Construction is expected to be complete by the end of the year.
For more information visit www.saambulance.com.au.