A new purpose built ambulance station has been opened in Fort William that is shared with Police Scotland, creating a major new partner-working facility to help keep people safe in the wider West Central Highlands through a range of specialist functions as part of an investment of £4.3m to the area.
Co-location between Police Scotland and the Scottish Ambulance Service and the use of shared facilities will allow the two organisations to strengthen an already close working relationship.
For ambulance staff the station provides an improved, modern work environment within a facility that meets all of the stringent infection control standards required in NHS Scotland with dedicated areas for vehicle cleaning and decontamination.
The inclusion of training and conference rooms supports the professional education and development of ambulance staff and will become a training station for the North West, developing student ambulance technicians from the Scottish Ambulance Service Training Academy.
The building has fully IT enabled conference and training rooms, which have been designed so they can be utilised as a multi-agency incident room when required.
Mr David Garbutt, Chairman, of the Scottish Ambulance Service, said, “We have worked closely with Police Scotland to create a purpose built facility that meets the needs of the Scottish Ambulance Service, providing a modern, fit for purpose, work environment for ambulance staff. The new facility, will house up to three emergency ambulances, along with three Patient Transport Vehicles, all operating from the one facility.”
The new police station offers increased office space conducive to a more productive working environment thereby enabling staff to operate more efficiently and maximise the use of resources. For police officers, there is a modern custody suite with increased cell capacity and includes CCTV monitoring equipment in each cell to enhance custody supervision. The new facility also has a secure compound at the rear thereby improving all round security particularly in regard to police vehicles, external stores and custody handling.
Chief Constable Sir Stephen House QPM said, “Where we can, we want to work closely with our emergency service partners. Fort William is a shining example of Police Scotland and the Scottish Ambulance Service working together to provide a better service to the public.
“The Fort William and wider Lochaber area is popular with visitors all year round and presents its own unique challenges for policing, in terms of the terrain, popularity with visitors and often changeable weather conditions.
“Working together from shared premises can only enhance the already strong local relationships and response to incidents and emergencies.”