The Welsh Ambulance Service and the communities it serves are set to benefit from 48 new emergency ambulances.
The trust has introduced the new vehicles – each fitted with the latest technology – as part of its commitment to modernising its fleet. The new ambulances will ensure that all of the trust’s operational vehicles are fit-for-purpose, reliable and provide a safe environment for staff and patients.
The brand-new Mercedes ambulances boast more efficient engines, boosting their environmentally friendly credentials.
In addition, the trust’s non-emergency service, its Ambulance Care Service, is currently piloting five new environmentally-friendly MAN Class B licenced ambulance vehicles, which will initially be based in Barry and Cwmbran.
The pilot is designed to ensure the Trust is providing the most appropriate vehicles to its staff and ties into the trust’s aims of reducing its carbon footprint.
David Holmes, the Trust’s National Fleet Manager, said: “Even after 30 years of fleet management, I still get a buzz of excitement when seeing new vehicles going into service.
“The latest Mercedes ambulances with the newly developed nine-speed automatic gearbox deliver a very smooth driving experience for both staff and patients.
“When combined with an ergonomically designed saloon area equipped to the highest clinical standards, WAST ambulances become the marque that other ambulance services need to aspire to.
“Meanwhile, the Class B licenced ambulance is an exciting project that has taken a lot of input from all key stakeholders, and it will be interesting to see how the design of the vehicle develops further now they are being used in earnest.”
Chris Turley, Executive Director of Finance and Corporate Resources, added: “Despite current funding challenges, we remain committed to the continuing replacement and modernising of our fleet, recognising how important having modern, well equipped, comfortable and fit for purposes vehicles are for our staff and patients.
“This latest batch of emergency ambulances have been prioritised within available funding in the 2023/24 financial year and we continue to seek additional funding to replace a further range of vehicles across our whole fleet going forward.
“We remain grateful to Welsh Government for its continued support for our rolling vehicle replacement programme.
“Having a modern, fit-for-purpose fleet does not only provide the best working environment for our crews and as comfortable experience as possible for our patients, it is also financially beneficial by reducing fuel, maintenance and repair costs, as well contributing to our decarbonisation and environmental sustainability targets.”
The 48 new Welsh Ambulance Service ambulances comprise 13 additional vehicles and 35 replacements, and will operate across Wales.