One of the busiest stations in the state will be serviced by world-class facilities following the official opening of the new Kirwan Ambulance Station.
The new $3.2 million state-of-the-art Kirwan Ambulance Station was officially opened today.
Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said that the new, modern station’s opening was great news for the community and hard-working paramedics and station staff.
“As a former paramedic, I am so proud to be part of the Palaszczuk Government that delivers the very best frontline services for Townsville,” said Mr Harper.
“I’m also proud to announce that three additional frontline ambulance staff will join the Kirwan station team.
“This is on top of the five additional paramedics and more staffing resources we delivered last year.”
This year Mr Harper was posted to Kirwan Ambulance Station as an Honorary Ambulance Officer, meaning he is an operational volunteer.
Member for Mundingburra Les Walker said that local officers delivered the highest standard of patient care.
“Our paramedics deliver the best standard of patient care, and as our population grows, the Palaszczuk Government will continue to invest in the services we need,” said Mr Walker.
“The Townsville community can rest assured that their local station is well equipped and ready to respond to any emergency.”
Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said that during construction, the station supported local jobs.
“Not only will the new station help deliver the very best healthcare for our community, it has supported local jobs when they’ve been needed the most during the global coronavirus pandemic,” said Mr Stewart.
“We know that Queensland’s economic recovery is well underway, and that’s because of our strong health response to the pandemic.”
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D’Ath MP said the new $3.2 million facility sees hard-working Kirwan officers transition from an outdated building to an advanced station fit for the modern era.
“Along with our record 2019-20 ambulance budget and additional staff, this new station is proof of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to keeping Queenslanders healthy, no matter where they live.”
The new station will also be home to Local-area Assessment and Referral Unit (LARU) paramedics specially trained to respond to patients suffering a mental health crisis.
“These LARU paramedics allow for expansion of the highly successful Queensland Ambulance Service Mental Health Co-responder Program into Townsville and surrounding communities,” said Minister D’Ath.
“This enhancement supplies an additional LARU paramedic 10 hours per day across the week to co-respond with a mental health clinician to some of the community’s most vulnerable.
The state-of-the-art station includes an improved training facility and amenities, on-site parking for staff and a vastly upgraded plant-room floor for ambulance vehicles.
QAS Deputy Commissioner Dee Taylor-Dutton said the facility marked a new chapter in the proud history of ambulance services in Kirwan, with the original station constructed in 1979.
“With 56.6 full time equivalent officers and 10 vehicles, our base at Kirwan is an integral cog in the overall Townsville response,” Deputy Commissioner Taylor-Dutton said.
“The new station will continue servicing the locality in addition to supporting nearby stations.
“The Kirwan Ambulance Station responded to approximately 16,600 cases this calendar year which reflects the need for an appropriate base to respond from.
“Kirwan officers have already responded to more than 1,500 incidents since the replacement station became operational in mid-November.
“Our paramedics proudly put on their uniform day in, day out for the community and it’s great to see them operating out of this modernised facility.”
The station is enriched by a memorial garden featuring stones adorned with Indigenous artwork by local school students.
“It’s heartening to see locals involved in a project that is so heavily focused on the community,” Minister D’Ath said.
“I would also like to make special mention of the Indigenous artwork displayed inside the station from local artists Jesse James and Agnes Wotton.
“This talented work perfectly encapsulates the strong connection between Kirwan and our First Nations peoples.”
The station is based at the same site on the corner of Hinchinbrook Drive and Bass Street.