The Australian Paramedics Association (NSW) is concerned that NSW Ambulance is opening a brand new ambulance station at Wyong which will NOT be functioning to serve the community 24 hours a day.
APA (NSW) President Chris Kastelan said it was unacceptable that the new Hamlyn Terrace Station, due to open on Monday 20 May 2019, would be closed for 8 hours overnight with no paramedics available to respond to the community.
“This would never happen in the Sydney metropolitan area: spending almost $5 million on a new ambulance station, with 13 vehicle bays and a projected staff of 52 and instead assigning only 12 paramedics and three ambulances,” Mr Kastelan said.
The Hamlyn Terrace Station will be open only from 5.45am to 10pm despite a growing population and an increasing number of calls from the public.
“APA (NSW) is calling on NSW Ambulance to immediately resource this state-of-the-art Ambulance Paramedic response network station to stay open 24 hours a day,” Mr Kastelan said.
“We believe NSW Ambulance should immediately pull forward any future resourcing so that the community receives an around the clock emergency response.”
Mr Kastelan questioned who would respond to emergency calls if this new station was not operating for 24 hours a day.
“We can’t afford ambulance coverage in Wyong to continue operating on pre-2015 night shift crewing levels.”
Mr Kastelan said Hamlyn Terrace would not get any extra paramedics from the NSW Government’s projected increase in the paramedic workforce until late 2020. That’s another 18 months where the station is closed overnight.
“There is a huge growing population in this area and yet NSW Ambulance is taking no account of the needs of the community when it comes to delivery of front-line paramedic services on the Central Coast.”
“If the Ambulance service had any regard for people in Wyong it would immediately fast-track the projected 52 full-time equivalent paramedics.”
“The Government and NSW Ambulance promised Hamlyn Terrace would be a 24-hour station when it opened. Under current plans this station would not be fully staffed until 2032 and this is too long to wait.”
“The community should feel ripped off that a brand-new station costing them $4.9 million dollars is going to be closed overnight in an area that is slated to achieve 28.5% population growth.”