The ambulance station on Louth’s Fairfield Industrial Estate is set to close this summer with all services being moved into the town’s fire station - the first ‘shared building’ scheme in Lincolnshire.
From August this year, ambulance and fire crews will be based at the existing fire station building in Eastfield Road as part of a county-wide plan for the emergency services to collaborate more closely.
According to Lincolnshire County Council, the scheme will ‘improve’ services to the public and provide ‘value for money’ - and the Louth station will be the first in the county to be run in this way.
Richard Hunter, locality manager for East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS), said: “This is an exciting venture for the emergency services in Lincolnshire.
“Residents will be aware that our station on Windsor Road is old and as a result is getting very expensive to run and maintain.
“EMAS is a mobile healthcare provider treating patients in their home, at the scene of an incident and en route to hospital if further treatment is required. The majority of our time therefore is spent away from the current ambulance station.
“By teaming up and slightly modifying the station on Eastfield Road, our staff can access and share better facilities, develop closer working relationships with our police and fire service colleagues, and therefore better services for local people.
Chief Fire Officer, Nick Borrill, added: “At a time when public service budgets remain under pressure, innovative collaborative new ways of working are needed to ensure we maintain excellent emergency service delivery to residents, businesses and visitors in Lincolnshire.
“By sharing our building with our ambulance colleagues, we can not only save money, but also work more closely together, building a better understanding between our services. For example, at the station, we have a simulated search and rescue training facility and a practice road traffic collision area – great for firefighters and ambulance crews to train together and try new ways of working.”
A Lincolnshire County Council spokesman added that, despite the move, EMAS would still be providing ‘the same services’ in Louth as it does at present.
The new ‘shared building’ plan come just four years after campaigners fought and won their battle to keep the current ambulance station open, following a proposal from EMAS to close it and create centralised ambulance ‘hubs’ in neighbouring areas such as Skegness and Lincoln.
• A ‘shared building’ open day, where residents can go along, see the plans and meet the local crews, is scheduled for Saturday February 25 at 9.30am. For details, visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/lfr, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @Lincsfirerescue on Twitter.