Wodonga West ambulance tandem team a health winner

Response times should improve with the opening of West Wodonga ambulance station. Picture: KYLIE ESLER

Response times should improve with the opening of West Wodonga ambulance station. Picture: KYLIE ESLER

THE new Wodonga West ambulance station is being fitted out and tested ahead of its September opening.

The $4 million station will work in tandem with the South Street site in an arrangement Ambulance Victoria has said will cut response times.

Upper Hume group manager Matt Chadban yesterday said the service still had to “get on top of a few minor things”.

Contractors Premier Building and Construction recently handed over the building, at the corner of McGaffins and Felltimber roads.

“The landscaping is a challenge, given the area is quite wet,” Mr Chadban said.

“We’ll get staff in to stock the stores room, put equipment in place and ensure it’s all being delivered,” he said.

“We also have to move some equipment from South Street and do some testing.

“Once we have the right equipment, staff will start working out of it.

“They’ll start their day shift at South Street and then move across.

“They’ll do a trial period with that and be up and running 24 hours a day by September 1 — if not before.”

Both stations will have a shift crew of two paramedics in one car and operate around the clock.

South Street would retain a single-responder unit because Mr Chadban said data showed “that’s the best site for MICA response”.

“Our team manager, Mike Fuery, will be based at West Wodonga, and do a day or two a week at South Street.”

Mr Chadban said a challenge for the project had occured when the site had turned to mud.

He said now that the building was finished, he hoped things would quieten down and the neighbours “won’t know we’re there”.

He said having two sites would improve response time.

The long-term goal was to have a third site — perhaps at Leneva.

Ambulance Victoria considered more than 40 sites before choosing McGaffins Road.

It was built only after Planning Minister Matthew Guy revoked a covenant on the land that it be used only for private houses.

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