The Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust and North Wales Fire and Rescue Service have jointly invested more than £15m in a purpose-built resource centre in Wrexham – the first of its kind in Wales – which boasts an eight-bay fire station, a six-bay ambulance station, a make ready facility and fleet workshop plus top-of-the-range training facilities.
The Ambulance and Fire Services Resource Centre (AFSRC) on Croesnewydd Road opened on 12 April and has replaced the existing fire station on Bradley Road in Wrexham, and the existing ambulance stations in Chirk and Wrexham.
The project has been three years in the making. Sonia Thompson, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Head of Operations in North Wales, said, “A lot of hard work has gone into this project from the partnership, so we’re delighted that today is the day we’re able to start using this facility. This development will provide the modern and upgraded services that our crews deserve. It also presents the perfect opportunity to work more closely with our fire service colleagues, with whom we already have an excellent working relationship and attend many incidents together.”
Kevin Roberts, Senior Operations Manager at North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, added, “This is an exciting time for all involved and we’re delighted to be making the move into this high quality resource centre which will provide both improved facilities for our staff and a better service for the public in the area. Operating from one base will allow greater co-ordination when it comes to responding to incidents and will make the best use of resources for both of our organisations.
“This partnership has allowed us to create a joint facility which we can be proud of, which provides modern, improved and upgraded services.”
The ambulance accommodation incorporates a fleet workshop, make ready facility, a six-bay garage, offices for fleet staff and management, debrief room and a deployment base for response staff. Ambulance crews start their shift at the AFSRC then will move to strategically located deployment points across Wrexham and Chirk, where call demand data predicts the next 999 call will come from.
Newly recruited fleet assistants will clean stock and clean vehicles after use, enabling clinicians to spend more time face-to-face with patients delivering better care for the area.
The fire accommodation includes a local community safety office, an eight bay garage, gymnasium, training house and drill tower with a road traffic collision training area.
Facilities like the rest room, dining room, communal kitchen, main office, locker room, meeting and training rooms will be shared by both services.