New training facility opens for Scottish Ambulance Service

Part of the Scottish Ambulance Service’s civil contingencies response programme, the new special operations training facility in Newbridge brings training and equipment logistics into a single new hub.

The £1.5m facility will be used for a range of training exercises, including how to respond to major incidents, and also Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) incidents. It also includes a 360 degree, fully interactive, immersive training suite which can be used to simulate a range of incidents in different environments including emergency departments, night clubs, industrial sites. The suite enables not only the practice of clinical skills but subjects staff to a variety of stimuli including lighting and sound effects which may impact on performance.

Speaking at the launch the new hub, Chief Executive Pauline Howie said, “This training facility will be invaluable for our staff who respond to both large and challenging incidents.  This can include treating and conveying patents from challenging inaccessible and confined location including water, chemical accidents and incidents involving a large number of people. This facility will help us prepare to respond to these large-scale and complex incidents safely and provide the best care to our patients.”

Scottish Health Secretary Michael Matheson said that the hub will give staff the chance to experience different scenarios which could be out of the usual confines of their daily routine. He added, “It is so important as it will give them the confidence, resilience and knowledge of how to respond. Our ambulance staff run to help those in times of need and it is right that we give them the tools to allow them to do that and this training facility will do that.”

Photo credit: Scottish Ambulance Service. Features (L-R) John Burhnham, CEO Pauline Howie, Michael Matheson MSP, Board Chair, Tom Steele.