Paramedics claim the proposed closure of Ilkeston’s ambulance station could put lives at risk.
East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) wants to replace 16 ambulance stations in Derbyshire including Ilkestonwith two super-centres, or “hubs”, in Derby and Chesterfield, and about 30 standby posts where staff can take breaks and restock.
Ilkeston is on the list to have an ambulance based in the town in the form of a community ambulance post, but where exactly hasn’t been decided yet.
However staff still feel a third super centre is needed in this area of Derbyshire and are planning to join colleagues from Ripley, Alfreton and Belper on a public march on November 24 in Ripley to protest over the plans and collect signatures for their petition.
One paramedic told the Advertiser: “Our aim is to raise public awareness of the closures and put a case forward for a “Hub Station” on the outskirts of Ripley as north of Ripley is central to the already proposed two hub stations EMAS are prepared to build.
“If it snows in Derby or Chesterfield, nothing gets out of Derby or Chesterfield.
“Having all your eggs in one basket - north and south - potentially means putting the lives of the public around here at risk.”
But East Midlands Ambulance Service Chief Executive Phil Milligan said the changes would allow them to get to life-threatening calls faster.
“To provide the fastest response possible, we have to make simple decisions,” he said.
“Do we spend our money on buildings or frontline services? Do we design services to cut out the waste, so that our clinicians have more time to spend on patient care?”
He pledged that the standby points and hubs would be sited according to where they are most able to respond to calls received.
This will be based on statistics as well as local knowledge of road networks and requirements.
But Mr Hill warned: “Distance takes time.
“It’s all well and good saying we will have more tactical standby points but if all the resources start and get sucked into the city of Derby the stand-by points will all be empty.”