New year, new base for ambulance crews

North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) is adding a new station to its list, building on a successful partnership with its fire service colleagues.

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service (CDDFRS) has agreed a deal with NEAS to turn its newly renovated station in Sedgefield into a co-location service, housing both services together. 

As a result, NEAS will move one of its 24-hour ambulances and 12 employees from its busy Fishburn station 2.2miles down the road to Sedgefield. This ambulance will continue to service the Fishburn area alongside a second emergency ambulance, which will remain at Fishburn station.

The Sedgefield station is the 21st co-location site across the North East, and the fifth with CDDFRS.

Darren Green, head of operations (central) at NEAS, said: “When our fire service colleagues offered us accommodation at its new community station in Sedgefield, we saw this as an excellent opportunity to add Sedgefield as an additional base. 

“We have a strong relationship with the fire service and the stations we share with them in other parts of the region have shown us that being co-located helps our teams get to know each other better in terms of knowledge and abilities, which makes us an even better team when we’re on scene together at an incident.”

An additional emergency vehicle was added to Fishburn station in 2019 as part of the extra investment received by from commissioners to increase our staffing and vehicles. However, the station site is small and became over-crowded. This has become particularly concerning during the pandemic, where additional measures, such as physical distancing, are required to keep colleagues safe.

Darren added: “We’re looking forward to moving into the building at the end of February and hope this new station will provide some additional comfort at a time when our crews have never been busier.” 

Stuart Errington, CDDFRS’ Chief Fire Officer, added: “We are also looking forward to sharing the newly refurbished station alongside our colleagues at NEAS as we know it will allow us to provide first-class service to support local community.”

The Combined Fire Authority’s vision for this refurbished community fire station is one of state-of-the-art facilities and collaboration with our partners and we hope that local residents will look positively on this building in the heart of their town.” 

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