New Albury ambulance station is worth the wait

Duty operations manager Laurie Evans at the new ambulance station. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYN
Duty operations manager Laurie Evans at the new ambulance station. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYN

LAURIE Evans first viewed plans for a new Albury ambulance station in 1978.

Those plans finally came to fruition this week as paramedics moved into a new station on Wagga Road.

Mr Evans, the station’s duty operations manager, said the old Dean Street centre was outdated and had been in urgent need of replacement.

“We were in love with the old station but it had come to the end of its time,” he said.

“It needed a lot of work done and it was also starting to get a bit squishy.

“We needed to branch out and go to a facility that could cater for the needs of the future.”

The Dean Street building was 80 years old, had access problems for ambulance vehicles and did not have separate changerooms for men and women.

Albury station officer Rod Hannan said the new $4 million station had space for 14 vehicles, study rooms, modern change rooms and space to set up an emergency operations centre.

“It will cater for more staff and vehicles as Albury grows,” he said.

“This should last us quite a number of years.”

The Albury station responded to 19 cases a day in 2005, which grew to 36 this year.

By 2020, Albury paramedics are expected to attend 80 incidents each day.

“It should improve response times,” Mr Hannan said.

“We’re on a four-lane road that has access to all parts of town, whereas in Dean Street we were coming out onto single lanes and had to manoeuvre our way around blocks of single lane streets to get to the major arterial roads.

“The new station is on a major arterial road that basically goes everywhere in town.”

The Wagga Road site once contained the Pascoe Burns Plumbing Supplies building, which burnt down in 2006.

It was one of 13 sites under consideration by the NSW government, and was ultimately chosen due to its proximity to Albury’s growth areas and strategic position for callouts.

About 30 paramedics and managers work out of the new station.